Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Finds rate at Water Newton Rally up this year

When the Water Newton (Chesterton) was being held under the supervision (sic) of a team of archaeologists the project leader one David Connolly reckoned he'd got the tekkies handing in most of the finds, and on that basis claimed that metal detecting does less damage to the archaeological record than its critics assert. The rally has since gone on without him, and the fourth season has just finished and a detectorist (one Raymo from Middlesborough 232 km from Water Newton) has gone on one of their forums today jubilating about the 'haul' :
hi all,,,got back on sunday night after 10 day's detecting,,,(sort of ,,to much drink)started of at the chesterton rally on the thursday,it was a very good rally for find's, every one i spoke to had 5 to 10 roman bronze,...i had a couple of hammy's, a silver celtic unit,a roman brooch and some bronze roman,...then stoped at a camp site where the owner allowed us to detect for 3 day's,,,i got 3 hammy's,another roman brooch and a potin.,HO,,ALSO FOUND FOOOOUUUR GOOOOLD RING'S,,,(((but that's another storey which i'll post later))..
Connolly (2006 p. 9) had 240 find from 116 finders (roughly two finds each) which he considered was "the majority of those who had found something recordable". So there is more or less Roman finds in the topsoil after three rallies and an unknown amount of 'nighthawking'? I have always suspected Connolly's assessment of his success rate was overoptimistic, if what "Raymo" says is true, it looks like there are grounds for stating this with more certainty.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Detectorists and All the Bad Fings They Do

Off-topic comment on a text on Heritage Journal about French detectorists and welsh museums (spelling and punctuation as in original):
Its funny when i see these comments on damaged historical sites and Paul Barford talking as if he is some kind of expert on who does the damage, He only concentrates on metal detectorist and all the bad things they do,this guy is 90% Bullshit and 10% glorified grave digger full untruths wind and piss so to speak. So please do not take any notice of anything he says,as he is big lier, Norm

I guess readers can make up their own minds how much "bullshit" and "piss" there is in my opinions on the general situation on the antiquities market and in artefact collecting. Oddly enough the metal detectorists like Illiterit Norm think I am "concentrating on the metal detectorists" while the coin collectors across the Atlantic think I am concentrating on them... The rest of us see that there are a few more general problems emerging with attitudes to the exploitation of archaeological sites as a source of collectables which need addressing by those more articulate than oiks who cannot spell, omit prepositions and replace civilised language by four-letter crudities.

Vignette: Worzel Gummidge Down Under.