Friday, 6 March 2020

Shropshire Sun Pendant Found in Anonymous Bog

Findspot: To be known as 'Shropshire Marches' Date of discovery: 12th May 2018 Circumstances of discovery: Whilst searching with a metal detector.
Mark Brown Arts correspondent, Guardian: 'British Museum acquires 3,000-year-old Shropshire sun pendant', Wed 4 Mar 2020
The pendant has been purchased for £250,000 using money from the Art Fund and the American Friends of the British Museum. [...] It comes from a period that is often misunderstood, associated with people living in huts or caves [...] The pendant was found in a landscape that would have been boggy and wet during the bronze age. Curators think it would have been intentionally cast into the water as an offering, much as people today throw coins into fountains. It was found by a metal detectorist who wants to remain anonymous. [...] It will probably be known as the Shropshire sun pendant
Anon, 'British Museum acquires internationally significant 3,000-year-old gold pendant, found in Shropshire' Shropshire Newsroom, 5th March 2020.
In May 2018, a metal detectorist in Shropshire made the find of a lifetime: cushioned by peaty soil for 3,000 years was an astonishingly well-preserved gold pendant  [...]  Preliminary fieldwork at the site in Shropshire has been undertaken by the British Museum in collaboration with Trent and Peak Archaeology and University College Cork. The fieldwork has demonstrated that the landscape at the findspot was boggy and wet during the Bronze Age. Curators think that the pendant would have been intentionally cast into this watery location, as wet places such as rivers and bogs were important to Bronze Age religion and votive deposition across Britain and Europe. More fieldwork is planned in order to shed more light on why such a precious jewel was cast into watery darkness. The Shropshire site has also produced a range of other, important, objects, which are also being examined under the Treasure process and [although it has lost the pendant to London] Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery hopes to acquire them.  
and the funds to analyse and publish all of the objects and the excavations properly.

The PAS's term "Shropshire Marches" is pretty meaningless in terms of defining a narrower region within the county.

It is worth thinking about the declared aim of the PAS to " to raise awareness among the public of the educational value of archaeological finds in their context and facilitate research in them" when the only information about that "context" given to the public is what is given above. "A boggy bit somewhere in the Shropshire Marches" is not a context, and PAS gatekeeping teaches nothing.

Since most of the other extant lunulae like that come from Ireland, do any of the "other, important, objects" from this site have parallels in Ireland too (where metal detecting is controlled)? What actual firm documentation exists of their discovery?

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