Thursday 11 June 2020

Celebrating Metal Detecting: The Missing Stamp for Roman Britain's Missing Finds

Heritage Action has a new text on a new set of UK stamps celebrating Roman Britain (A new set of “Roman stamps” – but why no Crosby Garrett Helmet? 11/06/2020).  They point out that one of them figures the Ribchester Helmet:
Found in 1796 and safe in the Museum for everyone to see and study. But here’s one that didn’t get printed [picture]. That’s the Crosby Garrett Helmet. Thanks to Britain’s inadequate legislation on detecting finds it isn’t on a stamp, it isn’t in a museum, it doesn’t count as Treasure and didn’t have to be reported. It was dug up by unqualified amateurs in strange circumstances, renovated for sale in even stranger circumstances, then sold for millions by auction to a private individual, not a museum, and isn’t available for public viewing or study.  Pretty bad, eh? But this is far worse: [picture]. Another fictional stamp representing the thousands and thousands and thousands of archaeological artefacts not reported because of Britain’s unique, lunatic laissez faire system on metal detecting!

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