Tuesday, 8 December 2020

Defining Treasure: How About Getting People to Get the Name Right? Get the name Right, Get the Idea.


Treasure Act 1996 1996 CHAPTER 24 
'An Act to abolish treasure trove 
and to make fresh provision 
in relation to treasure'. 
[4th July 1996]

"Budding detectorist
 protects the past

This is obviously rocket science for some people: Caroline Davies 'Definition of treasure trove to be recast to protect UK's rare artefacts' Grauniad Fri 4 Dec 2020.
Under the 1996 Treasure Act, objects are designated as treasure trove if found to be more than 300 years old and made of gold or silver, or found with artefacts made of precious metals.
What's it called again, Caroline? She even gives the impression that she's talked with Head of Portable Antiquities and Treasure, Michael Lewis and Roger Bland, chair of the Treasure Valuation Committee. And what's this?
Announcing the plans, the culture minister Caroline Dinenage said: “The search for buried treasures by budding detectorists has become more popular than ever before and many ancient artefacts now see the light of day in museums’ collections. However, it is important that we pursue plans to protect more of our precious history and make it easier for everyone to follow the treasure process.”

Britain's 'culture minister'  reckons blindly digging up loose artefacts from their archaeological context is what constitutes "protecting more of our precious history" instead of dissuading them from blindly digging up archaeological objects from their archaeological context. The 'history' Madame Minister is in THAT record, the one artefact hunting trashes every time. Where are British archaeology's professional associations here? There should be five letters on the minister's desk delivered by courier this afternoomn, from the CIfA, CBA, Rescue, PAS and why not the Society of Antiquaries, and a number from individual archaeologists in the UK concerned that public officials should be kept in touch with the 21st century instead of thinking Pitt Rivers is still the thing. Pretty pathetic. 

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