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.


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?

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