Skip to main content

Metal-detecting at Castlerigg Stone Circle

Video shot taken inside the circle. Posted April 2015.
The Castlerigg stone circle is located near Keswick in Cumbria. Aurbrey Burl describes is as 'one of the earliest circles in Europe' (Burl, no. 18). The site is under the guardianship of English Heritage and is managed by the National Trust. (It was taken into State care in 1883.)

A video posted on YouTube in April 2015 [12 minutes] noted what appears to be metal-detecting activity on the site, including within the circle.

The stone circle was "... one of the earliest Ancient Scheduled Monuments ever designated in the UK, giving it special legal protection".

The Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 states:
If a person uses a metal detector in a protected place without the written consent of the Commission (in a case of a place situated in England) or of the Secretary of State (in any other case)] he shall be guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction ...
This is yet another case of a nationally significant site, and one in public care, being targeted by metal-detectors. Some would, no doubt, call this 'heritage crime'.

I am grateful to Paul Barford for drawing my attention to this video.

For a view of the site in its setting:



Bookmark and Share so Your Real Friends Know that You Know

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Marble bull's head from the temple of Eshmun

Excavations at the temple of Eshmun in Lebanon recovered a marble bull's head. It is now suggested that it was this head, apparently first published in 1967, that was placed on loan to New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art (Tom Mashberg, "Met Museum Turns Over Another Relic With Disputed Past to Prosecutors", New York Times August 1, 2017 ). The head is reported to have been handed over to the Manhattan district attorney after a request was received from the Lebanese authorities.

It is suggested that the head may have been looted from an archaeological storage area at Byblos in the 1980s during the Lebanese civil war. Mashberg has rehearsed the recent collecting history:
The owners of the bull’s head, Lynda and William Beierwaltes of Colorado, say they have clear title to the item and have sued Manhattan prosecutors for its return.  The Beierwaltes bought the head from a dealer in London in 1996 for more than $1 million and then sold it to another collector, Michael …

Sardinian warrior from "old Swiss collection"

One of the Sardinian bronzes of a warrior was seized from an as yet unnamed Manahattan gallery. It appears to be the one that passed through the Royal-Athena Gallery: Art of the Ancient World 23 (2012) no. 71. The collecting history for that warrior suggests that it was acquired in 1990 from a private collection in Geneva.

Other clues suggested that the warrior has resided in a New York private collection.

The identity of the private collection in Geneva will no doubt be telling.

The warrior also features in this news story: Jennifer Peltz, "Looted statues, pottery returned to Italy after probe in NYC", ABC News May 25 2017.

Attic amphora handed back to Italians

The research of Dr Christos Tsirogiannis has led to the return of an Attic red-figured amphora, attributed to the Harrow painter, to Italy (Tom Mashberg, "Stolen Etruscan Vessel to Be Returned to Italy", New York Times March 16, 2017).

The amphora is known to have passed through the hands of Swiss-based dealer Gianfranco Becchina in 1993, and then through a New York gallery around 2000 (although its movements between those dates are as yet undisclosed).

During the ceremony, Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., the District Attorney stated:
“When looters overrun historic sites, mine sacred spaces for prized relics, and peddle stolen property for top dollar, they do so with the implicit endorsement of all those who knowingly trade in stolen antiquities” More research clearly needs to be conducted on how material handled by Becchina passed into the North American market and into the hands of private and public collectors.