Wednesday 15 March 2023

Missing Information from Essex FLO

Looking through the PAS database for 'out of place' artefacts, and found this among the Byzantine coins of the period 641/668-1250. Decided to ask about this one: "Report an error relating to ESS-9516D4"  Recording Institution: ESS - Created: 17 years ago (Updated: 12 years ago):
                                   Smith gold coin (PAS/Colchester museums)                           
Unique ID: ESS-9516D4
Object type certainty: Certain
Workflow status: Published Find published

A highly unusual British find of a gold or electrum hyperpyron (= successor of the solidus) of emperors Andronikos II and Michael IX (the former's son). Constantinople mint, class IIb. P. Grierson, Catalogue of the Byzantine Coins in the Dumbarton Oaks Collection. Vol. 5 Michael VIII to Constantine XI 1258-1453, Washington DC 1999, nos 452-454. [Byzantine coin]
Subsequent actions
Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder [...]
Spatial metadata
Region: Eastern (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Essex (County)
District: Epping Forest (District)
Parish or ward: Abbess Beauchamp and Berners Roding (Civil Parish)
The dates are 1294-1330/32. My comment.
A "finder" is mentioned, to whom the object was returned, but the entry does not state how this person found the coin (metal detecting/ gardening/dog walking etc). Is this because the finder could not recall, the FLO lost the piece of paper they wrote it on, or because the recording officer has doubts about it actually being a find from British soil (for example an eBay purchase that he was trying to 'launder' through the PAS?). Surely if there is ambiguity, this should be visible in the public record, the public has a right to know. Why are these descriptions being published anonymously, why are the FLOs not signing their work, so we know who is responsible for a record? Thanks. Paul Barford 

The latter is really important if we know that FLO Joe Bloggs knew very littel abut coins , but FLO John Smith did, it allows us to read their respective reports accordingly (and let PAS not try to kid us that they are all of equal "high" quality r even the same layout or use the same keywords).

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