Sunday 26 June 2022

Whoops.... [Updated]

COIN Unique ID: KENT-542043
Object type certainty: Certain
Copper alloy Roman Provincial bronze coin struck for Hadrian (AD 117-38) at Oddessus in Moesia (modern Ukraine on northern coast of the Black Sea), dating to c.AD 125-128. RPC III, p. 98, no. 772 (three specimens recorded, five on the online version of RPC III). 22mm; 6.5g.
Obverse: [ΑΥΤ]ΟΚΡΑΤωΡ ΑΔΡΙ[ΑΝOС]; laureate and draped bust right
Reverse: OΔHCEI-TωN; Heracles standing left, resting on club with his right hand, lion skin over left arm
Measurements: 22mm in diameter and 6.5g in weight.
Notes: We are grateful to the finder for providing the images for this record.

and what else? The record is anonymous - who actually wrote this?

While it is true that Odessos (one 'd') was in the ancient region of Moesia, which later became a Roman province, Moesia ended on one side of the Danube, while modern Ukraine begins on the other. So Moesia was not "modern Ukraine on [the] northern coast of the Black Sea". Moesia was on the eastern coast of the Black Sea, between teh Balkan mountains and the Danube. The colony and then urban centre of Odessa in which this coin was struck is under today's Varna in modern Bulgaria.

I suspect the FLO is confusing that with the similarly named Ukrainian city of Odessa, founded in 1794 on the site of a Tatar settlement (Hacibey/Khadjibey) by Tsarina Catherine the Great - and giving it a Greek name was a conceit of hers.

Millions, literally, of pounds have gone into this Portable Antiquities Scheme, mainly because the Brits cannot be bothered to actually tackle artefact hunting. The least those who work for it as "partners" of the artefact hunters and collectors can do is to check the facts that they provide the public as their costly "archaeological outreach" and not spread nonsense.  

Update a few minutes later
Generally PAS do not like me commenting on the records when I spot an issue and do not always react when I write, but I usually try. Doing so this time produces the information missing from the public page:
"Report an error relating to KENT-542043
Thank you for taking the time to report an error about this find. The error report will be sent to:
Finds Adviser(s) responsible
Sam Moorhead Andrew Brown
Finds Liaison Officer(s) responsible
Jo Ahmet<
br> You are submitting an error report on:
PAS record number: KENT-542043"
So the FLO wrote this junk record? And Sam Moorhead and Andrew Brown are responsible for its accuracy? Tragic.

UPDATE The next Day:

"Recording Institution: KENT
Created: 4 years ago
Updated: About one hour ago"

Four years it took the British Museum to get it right.

I got this in my inbox too:
"Dear All, I have slightly rejigged the record. It is Odessus (which was ancient Varna) in Bulgaria. I can see the confusion with Odessa further up the coast. Thanks Paul for the alert.
Valete, Sam [This Message is Official]"
Yeah. "Confusion" is why we have experts, the PAS is supposed to be the experts here.

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