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…

Adding to the history of an Attic black-figured amphora

The post-excavation histories of objects are important as we map the that cultural property passes through collections and the markets. This is clear for an Attic black-figured amphora, attributed to Group E, that is due to be auctioned at Christie's New York on October 31, 2018 (lot 31). It shows Herakles and the Nemean lion, and Theseus and the Minotaur.

The auction catalogue claims that it surfaced in the hands of John Hewett in London in 1970 (or earlier), then to a private collection in Europe, followed by a series of auctions:
A European private collection; Antiquities  Sotheby's, London, 11 July 1988, lot 130thence to a private collection, New YorkAntiquities Christie's, New York, 15 December 1992, lot 81Antiquities Sotheby's, New York, 17 December 1996, lot 50Antiquities, Sotheby's, New York, 4 June 1998, lot 102 The amphora appears in the Beazley Archive (BAPD 350425). This provides the history sequence as follows (though in the list of auction catalogues s…