Monday, 27 April 2020

What Happens to Old Metal Detecting Finds?


Artefact collectors say they "save" artefacts from "being lost". They've been safe in the soil for centuries and millennia until some bloke with a metal detector comes along and rudely hoiks them out... and puts in his collection (or on eBay). And then what? Where are all those millions of artefacts now? Here's one Tom Redmayne has relocated:
Car boot find from last year, so not for recording on @findsorguk database as no provenance. Silvered iron rowel spur, 13th-14th C with complete 16-point rowel and decorated hook-attachment. Seller found it in a box in the old stables of his new home! Great ref. piece. @Tostig1066
Great reference piece, for what and why? Not only findspot gone, so is context. This is what artefact collecting is doing. Note the file marks.

11 comments:

Unknown said...

Bro most of the metal detectors give their finds to museums

Paul Barford said...

Please dont come here calling me "Bro" and peddling trashy fob-off figures. Storing and curating artefacts is expensive. Many museums will not just accept piles of loose metal objects with no documentation of provenance and legal origins, and most metal detectorists (in the UK at least) do not maintain such records of their collections. So where do you get this "most" from? If an estimated 8.8million recordable finds have been made in the UK since PAS began, what percentage of them have reached a museum collection? And if most artefact hunters are "giving" (sic) to museums, where are the tens of thousands of artefacts and coins on sale on eBay coming from?

thomas hall said...

I knew an archaeologist who had the most delightful fireplace made entirely from Roman stone. He showed it me himself and was quite proud of it, I will not name names only tell you that he worked on site at Ribchester.

Paul Barford said...

No, do please name a name.

What do you mean by "Roman stone"? The geology of the area is Palaeozoic, no?

This stone was pickaxed out of the preserved standing wall to make a fireplace or taken from the spoil heap?

I am not sure what you are accusing this person of.

thomas hall said...

My dear chap, Ribchester was a Roman fort on the banks of the River Ribble in Lancashire, [the bronze Roman ceremonial helmet at present in the British Museum was discovered here. The stone was taken from the remains of a house wall which was as is a common archaeological practice, bulldozed during excavations. [Give me my little trowel any day.] If you are not sure of what I am accusing this person then stealing from a scheduled site would seem to fit the bill. Also I never even mentioned his coins which, after placing his finger down the side of his nose in a 'keep this to yourself' manner he showed me. Need I go on???

Paul Barford said...

This is still lacking any specifics, name? When? The coins were from the site or the fields around it?

Unknown said...

Paul, my dear fellow, firstly do you even think that I would be such a cad as to name one of your fellow 'grave robbers' nay, give me at least a little credit. I am but a humble detectorist who, whenever I needed to gain permission on a particularly difficult site would call upon the assistance of a Field Archaeologist with whom I was acquainted who, flashing his credentials would request that the landowner give us permission to conduct an 'Electronic Sweep' of his grounds, it worked every time. Now, to your questions, The coins were secreted into his pockets, I have observed the 'digs' as they call them, my friend the planet Academia upon which you and thankfully a dwindling number of your fellow bigots reside, is facing destruction by what is known as 'Artifact Blitzkreig' that is the preference of the general public to view treasures uncovered by metal detectorists rather than a few stone walls bulldozed into view by a few so-called academics.

Unknown said...

My dear fellow, name one of your fellow 'experts'? I am too much of a gentleman to do that. Suffice it so say that I was present and watched my friend on a a few of those 'digs' observed all of them closely, a nod and a wink from those in the trench to their friends observing, are you so nieve that you, and your fellow inhabitants of the planet Academia cannot see through the mist of ignorance and prejudice which surrounds it? As a final rejoinder, another of my friends, a Field Archaeologist in order to obtain permission for me to detect on a particularly difficult site would flash his credentials and ask that the landowner permit him and his assistant. [me] to conduct an 'Electronic Sweep' of his property, that usually did the trick. Now then, as a final rejoinder, if the British Museum was full of photos of dry stone walls, trenches and bulldozers, do you thin the public would frequent it? No, of course they wouldn't they wish to see the treasures unearthed by people such as they, METAL DETECTORISTS.....

Paul Barford said...

I think Mr Hall's accusations require further comment, so made a post of them:
http://paul-barford.blogspot.com/2021/04/a-lancashire-detectorists-view-of.html

I think that as witness to a crime, Mr Hall should go to the police... if that same archaeologist is the one that he reports gets him onto "difficult" land by "flashing his credentials" in return for... (well, what?) and not reporting this person's illegal activities, then that potentially makes him an accomplice.

thomas hall said...

I am your worst nightmare am I not Paul? Friendly with Ben, on speaking terms with Adrian

Paul Barford said...

Nightmare? I've not the faintest idea what you are on about. That you can "talk to Ben" and Hadrian? What foolishness is this? Enough.

Most guests here in the comment section have something to say about the topic of the post, not act like an ass trying to be a "nightmare" for the blog host.

A reminder, the topic of this post is a spur from an old collection bought in a car boot sale. Comments closed.

 
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