Skip to main content

Borsetshire metal-detecting search thwarted

Followers of BBC Radio 4's "The Archers" will know that Eddie and Joe had sneaked onto Oliver's land to investiage a "tump" with their metal-detector.
Concerned that Eddie and Joe are sneaking up to Grange Farm to uncover their supposed hoard with the metal detector, Clarrie tips Ed the wink. So when Joe and Eddie are busy digging, Oliver arrives with Ed. Since they thought he was away at a conference, this is a bit of a shock.

Ed explains that, just as Eddie suggested, he told Oliver all about the tump and the coins they found there. So Oliver has come to see what they find. Cornered, and well aware that he and Ed had no such conversation, Eddie can only agree. Unfortunately, all they find is some old machinery. Clarrie apologises to Oliver, but he’s not angry. In fact, he says they can dig on the farm any time and they’ll split the findings between them.

As Paul Barford has noted, should the PAS Finds Officer have been informed?

Comments

Marcus Preen said…
"should the PAS Finds Officer have been informed?"

I don't see why. After all, it's legal, innit? And PAS is only voluntary, isn't it? And the customers over in the States don't ask for evidence that PAS has been told, do they? And the landowner, who is the legal owner of the lot, will be getting 50% of his entitlement, which many don't since the customers over in the States don't trouble themselves to ask for his name and address either.

So I'd say it was a fairly accurate portrayal of what often happens in the British countryside, albeit damaging on account of both the failure to mention PAS and the erroneous message to landowners that they too will profit from the exercise, when often they won't.

All that's missing is a bit of dialogue from Eddie - "I'm only doing it for the love of history"... and perhaps a phone call from his dealer "Lord bless you for not living in a socialist, retentionist country".

Popular posts from this blog

Codename: Ainsbrook

I have been watching (UK) Channel 4's Time Team this evening. The programme looked at an undisclosed field (under a potato crop) where a Viking burial had been found. The location in Yorkshire was so sensitive that it was given a codename: Ainsbrook. Here is the summary:
In late 2003 two metal detectorists were working in a field in Yorkshire. They found 'treasure' buried just beneath the surface – a collection of Viking material next to a body. Although they had been detecting on the site for a number of years, during which time they had made large numbers of finds, nothing they had uncovered previously compared with this. They decided to share their discovery with archaeologists.The programme explored the tension between metal-detectorists and the English Heritage sponsored archaeologists putting six trenches into the field based on a geo-physical survey. Finds made by the metal-detectorists did not easily map onto the archaeological features.

Part of the programme had an …

The scale of the returns to Italy

I have been busy working on an overview, "Returning Archaeological Objects to Italy". The scale of the returns to Italy from North American collections and galleries is staggering: in excess of 350 objects. This is clearly the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the material that has surfaced on the market without a history that can be traced back to the period before 1970. 

I will provide more information in due course, but the researcher is a reminder that we need to take due diligence seriously when it comes to making acquisitions.

Stele returns to Greece

The Hellenic Ministry of Culture has announced (Saturday 8 September 2018) that a stele that had been due to be auctioned at Sotheby's in London in June 2017 has been returned to Greece (Friday 7 September 2018). The identification had been made by Cambridge-based forensic archaeologist Dr Christos Tsirogiannis.

It appeared that the stele had been supplied with a falsified history as its presence with Becchina until 1990 contradicted the published sale catalogue entry. It then moved into the hands of George Ortiz.

A year ago it was suggested that Sotheby's should contact the Greek authorities. Those negotiations appear to have concluded successfully.

The 4th century BC stele fragment, with the personal name, Hestiaios, will be displayed in the Epigraphic Museum in Athens. It appears to have come from a cemetery in Attica.