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Metal detectorist to auction Roman helmet - Printable Version

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Metal detectorist to auction Roman helmet - Mike.T. - 21st September 2010

I don't aggree. Something has no historic value because it has no exact provenance ? Rubbish. Every museum in Britain has artefacts on display and in storage that don't have exact provenance. If they're historically valueless why do they have them ?

And anyway, who's decided that we don't know exactly where this helmet came from ? Likely they do but are not making that public to deter other detector users swarming over the area.


Metal detectorist to auction Roman helmet - Dinosaur - 22nd September 2010

Reputedly they'd be wasting their time if the guy's been detecting the land for 7 years, he claims he's found nothing else so why not let other people (eg archaeologists) check his provenance?


Metal detectorist to auction Roman helmet - Unitof1 - 22nd September 2010

Don?t read this

Quote:[SIZE=3]Something has no historic value because it has no exact provenance ? Rubbish. Every museum in Britain has artefacts on display and in storage that don't have exact provenance. If they're historically valueless why do they have them ?
[/SIZE]


You looking for an historians opinion or an archaeologists?

Quote:[SIZE=3]I just hope Tullie house does get it, can be the star attraction in their new Roman Gallery!
[/SIZE]


You mean Metal Detecting Gallery. In the museum shop they could probably do a roaring trade in metal detectors. They can add descriptions to a lot of their displayed items including how much it got at auction, state the type of detector used, depth below the ho so rough ground, lots of potential grubby metal detecting magazine sales. Set up a communittr metal detecting club maybe look for sponsorship from auction houses, Shirley this could be the start of a thriving export education business attracting visitors from around the world?

Presumably they will use the PAS description written by the Curator of the Romano-British collections and Head of Roman Britain and Medieval Europe.

http://www.finds.org.uk/database/artefacts/record/id/404767

This curator does not seem to have any problem authenticating objects and even likes to cite other publications to justify the authentication. Looks really professional although I cant find a standard and guidance on it form ify although they do them on phonsic archaeologists and archaeological geophysics (which is different to normal geophysics). This curator must have some previous experience in this line of work

http://www.culture24.org.uk/history+%26+heritage/time/roman/art29899

(cant find it on the PAS database?)

anyway cant sit here starting to go into the unfathomable rant as hosty is sick and tired of having to monitor my posts and besides I have to write a scheme of works for a little old ladies 15m2 extension. First find a so called curator who is not on holiday, at a very important meeting or apparently on a site visit, so that I can find out whether the wording of the condition intended a full excavation strategy or something which is now called a monitoring, then do a site visit, pay for a site location map, write a description of the location, make sure that all the planning application numbers and conditions are lergit, visit the archives, review the archaeological and historical background (try and work out why this site got a condition when the next door supermarket did not get any) , write it all in a scheme, including my insurance details, provide a full and acceptable, peer reviewed and published list of associated specialist (might include this BM curator hay if not too busy..), produce a risk assessment and then wait for the ?curators? (who don?t work at a museum) to reject it on the grounds of typos, I am not an RO or if they are really sharp get pulled up because I have used the words watching brief somewhere and get told that I have to include a caveat that if I find anything that I must sell my house and me and family has to pay for the excavation and specialist analysis and conservation as the landowner wont and then to cap all that, insist that all the finds and the archive should be donated to the appropriate museum who will then charge me to keep what ever observations and artefacts,- that I have retrieved based on a post graduate level education in archaeology and years of experience being exploited by units where the directors all had gold plated council pensions and I did not, -in a dark place for a few years until the so called museum (run by people who appear to be in some form of entertainment industry for the severally moronic) go bust or lose everything which they keep in something called a store. And then I have to give the ?curators? a start date so that they can check that whilst in the wilds of a construction site that I don?t bring archaeology into disrepute (again).

And that?s before I am allowed to touch a bit of archaeology from the site and stand there and have to answer the inevitable question of whats the best thing that I have ever found whilst staring across the property boundary at a the Viking burial mound (the one with a lot of active moles) that is being preserved in situ because somebody in the futures curiosity is more important than mine.

How does it work again a short sharp glichy beep is probably iron and the top pan romanobritish medieval probably prehistoric curator of the whole world who has got these things into museums and top dollar before will identify everything that I find for free, even if I say I found it somewhere when I might have found it somewhere else particularly if rough ground is implicated. Lead on muckduff.

Your not real curators are you, why don?t ?..dam blinking unfathomable ranting


Metal detectorist to auction Roman helmet - BAJR - 22nd September 2010

No that one can stand.. as it is a good rant... I may not agree with all of it , but it makes sense and is relevant, without being too offensive to individuals or companies.


Metal detectorist to auction Roman helmet - Dinosaur - 22nd September 2010

Several potential good new threads there....the point of preserving archaeology 'in situ' that's obviously being destroyed for instance?


Metal detectorist to auction Roman helmet - RedEarth - 22nd September 2010

Excellent, perhaps the best summary I've ever seen of working in commercial archaeology in Britain today. Perhaps that should go in the next IfA magazine. Have you ever considered writing a blog (rather than just using this forum as one, which is fair enough I suppose)? It would be a very entertaining read.


Metal detectorist to auction Roman helmet - Steven - 22nd September 2010

Hi
Does anybody think that many people working in say, a supermarket stacking shelves, or crouched over a conveyor belt on a production line, if they read this type of post (and responses) might just ask?

If some archaeologists on this forum are so pi**ed off with archaeology and they see it in such a jaded manner, why don't they just f**k off and leave it to the ones who enjoy it? Why do they continue? Is it that they are a bunch of whingers who think their special because they are lucky enough to work in a job must people dream of?"

Even more, they might ask themselves:

"Why do other people on this forum put up with such a miserable bunch of losers who think the world revolves around their opinions when nobody sensible puts up with people like that in the pub?"

They might also think:

"Get a life, nothings perfect and just be pleased you don't have to do the early shift on the line checking that each suppository capsule hasn't leaked and then counting ten into each box, you crowd of .... etc...etc"

:face-stir:


Metal detectorist to auction Roman helmet - Mike.T. - 22nd September 2010

Unitof1 Wrote:Are you looking for an historians opinion or an archaeologists?

I'm not interested in either an historians or archaeologists opinion. You stated that something found out of context has no historical / archaeological value and that any museum that buys such an item should be held in contempt by Archaeologists. Therefore every museum in the land should be held in contempt by Archaeologists, despite the fact that museums, which are for the most part funded by the public are showing them what they want to see.

Or would you rather museums display grotty pot sherds and flint flakes that have been found in a given context as these have more ''value'' ?


Metal detectorist to auction Roman helmet - Kel - 22nd September 2010

A find provides you with information about the context within/abutting which it was found, the objects with which it was associated and the feature within which the context was formed. Without the context, a find is an interesting isolated curiosity which only tells you that it exists.

Museums provide displays of finds for people who don't share the perspective of archaeologists. Hence a museum may choose to display objects which maybe have no contextual information but are nice to look at and around which an interesting narrative can be constructed, rather than grotty pot sherds or flint flakes replete with documented source data.

A museum is there to show the public what they want to see (they pay for them, after all) but also to provide reference collections of the "boring" stuff that can be used in serious academic research. Hence museum galleries are used by the public and museum archives and stores are used by archaeologists.

Different groups of people place different "values" on objects. The shiny things aren't always valuable in the eyes of an archaeologist, in the same way that a rare chunk of battered Neolithic pot isn't necessarily valuable to a member of the public.


Metal detectorist to auction Roman helmet - RedEarth - 22nd September 2010

Steven Wrote:Hi
Does anybody think that many people working in say, a supermarket stacking shelves, or crouched over a conveyor belt on a production line, if they read this type of post (and responses) might just ask?

If some archaeologists on this forum are so pi**ed off with archaeology and they see it in such a jaded manner, why don't they just f**k off and leave it to the ones who enjoy it? Why do they continue? Is it that they are a bunch of whingers who think their special because they are lucky enough to work in a job must people dream of?"

Even more, they might ask themselves:

"Why do other people on this forum put up with such a miserable bunch of losers who think the world revolves around their opinions when nobody sensible puts up with people like that in the pub?"

They might also think:

"Get a life, nothings perfect and just be pleased you don't have to do the early shift on the line checking that each suppository capsule hasn't leaked and then counting ten into each box, you crowd of .... etc...etc"

:face-stir:


They probably do, but that wasn't really the point of Unit's original post, which was (and apologies to Unit if I mis-interpret it) a wry (I think that's the correct term to describe all of his outpourings) look at the way in which commercial archaeology is managed to within an inch of its life for the most mundane of discoveries while some bloke with a metal detector who, quite wisely, wants to remain anonymous, can have everyone wetting themselves over his not properly provenanced/heavily restored before anyone could look at it/bit of treasure (that isn't really treasure)/that he found in what circumstances we don't really no/with no context/no archive/no proper investigation/may dissappear into private hands etc etc.

I just thought it was an amusing summary of the day to day world of archaeology. Would you need to write a pithy account of life stacking shelves in a supermarket? Probably not. Are there people sitting around in their canteen complaining about how rubbish their job is (whatever it may be) somewhere. Almost certainly yes. But are some of their colleagues thinking, why don't you shut up winging about it, I quite enjoy it etc etc. Again, probably yes. I love what I do, but it doesn't mean I don't feel the urge to think it's a bit shite sometimes.

Perhaps the findings of commercial archaeology should be dealt with in a similar way - we won't hand them over until we've drummed up a load of additional cash from the general public. Except, no-one would care.