Skip to main content

Treasure hotspots in England

There is a report on the BBC that identifies "The best places in England for unearthing lost treasure" (Laurence Cawley, BBC News 17 January 2016). The report claims: "Research by the BBC has revealed Norfolk as the best spot for treasure hunters."

The report is full of praise for the Portable Antiquities Scheme:
In the 1980s, archaeologists and metal detectorists were at war over the nation's subterranean heritage. 
But in the 20 years since the PAS set out clear guidance for the reporting of finds by the public, the relationship between responsible detectorists and archaeologists has thawed. 
It so happens that Norfolk features in the Nighthawking Survey (2009) and in my discussion of PAS ("The Portable Antiquities Scheme and the Treasure Act: Protecting the Archaeology of England and Wales?", 2010). I also gave Norfolk as an example in my 2009 response to the Survey.

The BBC report also gives a little more detail of the "hundreds of holes" at the site of the Roman "Saxon Shore" fort at Bradwell in Essex: "Animals don't dig using a flat-sided object, Nor do they pat the ground back on top of the hole or take out a ring-pull and leave it by the side of the hole."


Bookmark and Share so Your Real Friends Know that You Know

Comments

David Gill said…
BBC Inside Out East: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p03fvbrg

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 …

George Ortiz collection to be displayed in London

Christie's is due to display part of the former collection of the late George Ortiz in London in a non-selling show to mark the 25th anniversary of the exhibition at the Royal Academy. There is a statement on the Christie's website ("The Ortiz Collection — ‘proof that the past is in all of us’"). Max Bernheimer is quoted: ‘Ortiz was one of the pre-eminent collectors of his day’.

We recall the associations with Ortiz such as the Horiuchi sarcophagus, the Hestiaios stele fragment, the marble funerary lekythos, and the Castor and Pollux.

Bernheimer will, no doubt, wish to reflect on the Royal Academy exhibition by reading Christopher Chippindale and David W. J. Gill. 2000. "Material consequences of contemporary classical collecting." American Journal of Archaeology 104: 463-511 [JSTOR].

Bernheimer will probably want to re-read the two pieces by Peter Watson that appeared in The Times: , "Ancient art without a history" and "Fakes - the artifice b…

Tutankhamun, Christie's and rigorous due dligence

It was announced today that the Egyptian authorities would be taking legal action against Christie's over the sale of the head of Tutankhamun ("Egypt to sue Christie's to retrieve £4.7m Tutankhamun bust", BBC News 9 July 2019).

The BBC reports:
Egypt's former antiquities chief, Zahi Hawass, said the bust appeared to have been "stolen" in the 1970s from the Temple of Karnak. "The owners have given false information," he told AFP news agency. "They have not shown any legal papers to prove its ownership." Christie's maintain the history of the piece as follows:
It stated that Germany's Prince Wilhelm von Thurn und Taxis reputedly had it in his collection by the 1960s, and that it was acquired by an Austrian dealer in 1973-4. However the family of von Thurn und Taxis claim that the head was never in that collection [see here].

Christie's reject any hint of criticism:
"Christie's would not and do not sell any work whe…