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Metal detectorist to auction Roman helmet - Printable Version

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Metal detectorist to auction Roman helmet - BAJR - 30th September 2010

Quote: It really makes me question the value of spending any time on here, which is a pity because apart from that fact it is one of the more open and welcoming sites I've come across.

I'm glad you do find it such... and hope you continue to. I try to moderate this (along with some cracking others) with a light hand, so that discussion can be had, to show real sentiment... perhaps alonging a reality to be glimpsed rather than a fully rosey picture... which would be nice!

As to what Wax says.. How true.

As to bashing...

Let us remember the truism,

When two archaeologists are gathered together - there will be three points of view!


Metal detectorist to auction Roman helmet - Dinosaur - 1st October 2010

Wax Wrote:We can all argue ourselves around the block and back again and deviate off topic bashing metal detectorists, archaeologists and curators. The bottom line is there is so little information to go with this find that it?s practically useless except as a pretty shiny thing.

Which is a real shame

But then again who doesn?t like shiny things? Hats off to the craftsperson who made it and the one who reconstructed it

....even if both events may have happened rather close together in time..... :face-approve:


Metal detectorist to auction Roman helmet - Unitof1 - 1st October 2010

More context emerges about the [allegedly]# fake helmet

folded face down in mud

http://www.rorystewart.co.uk/blog/37-blog/168-the-crosby-mask-herald-18th-september-2010

May we all bow our heads, join with our political masters and wonder

Quote:[SIZE=3]Much must have depended on who wore it. It is tempting to assume that he looked like his mask: a very young, perhaps slightly over-protected, son of Rome sent out with this fancy expensive gear on his first trip to the frontier. But why should the wearer resemble his mask? He might have been a wizened veteran commanding the fort at Brough; or serving with the cavalry by Carlisle. Why is it topped by a cap from what is now the Iranian frontier? There were it seems Syrian Archers then at Kirkby Thore, so was the owner also from the Middle East? Or was it just fashion? Or a joke? And what does all his incredible expense and fashion: these bizarre costumes for ritualistic horse maneuvers - suggest about life not far from Crosby Garret two thousand years ago. And what made him leave this very expensive thing behind? Who folded it and placed it face down in the Cumbrian mud?
[/SIZE]


This is from a privately educated mind at the cutting edge of political thought

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/politics/conservative/7909371/Rory-Stewart-sorry-for-saying-primitive-constituents-tied-trousers-with-string.html

# Remember the AUP please


Metal detectorist to auction Roman helmet - Jack - 1st October 2010

Mike.T. Wrote:You clearly don't know anything about metal detecting. For a start off it was a chance discovery. Unless this person had a crystal ball he couldn't have known that he was about to find ''a piece of treasure to sell at auction''. People who do metal detecting spend 99.9 % of their time digging up valueless items. Secondly this wasn't in any context. He did the right thing and reported it and the findspot to the PAS. Who are you to say he was lying ?

Presumably you'd rather this ''limited archaeological resource'' rot away in the ground than be found the way it was ?

I was addressing the point that someone who is qualified and experienced is always better at any job than a random member of the interested public. Especially in the case of archaeology. The sublties of context and depositional processes are beyond the general public. On site I'm forever receiving artefacts from well-meaning farmers or construction crew saying 'hey look what I found'. They are always suprised when I say where did you find it, they seem to think that an artefact carries all the information available with it.

But this is a general problem with the general public's perception of archaeology. Everone is interested in it.....but few even understand the basic principles.

As a matter of fact I do know a bit about metal detecting, having both 'employed' them and suffered site robbing from others.

I know metal detectorists spend 99.9% of their time digging up what they think as valueless items, its unfortunate that these items are often the vital clues us humble archaeologists use to understand sites.

The issue of context has already been pointed out...but remember a field is a context, as is the soil accreciations on the bits of helmet and the other 'valueless' items found with it.
But of course a member of the public wouldn't understand this, as they only see the 'value' of the treasure.:face-stir:

However, you are correct that not all metal detectorists are night-hawkers and tomb-robbers....some are even archaeologists. Important artefacts have always been found as 'chance finds' some are important 'find spots' indicating the possible presence of an archaeological site close by. It's just that it would be much better if some of these find-spots were not registered in the wrong field (for legal or economic reasons) and some 'context' related information was gathered.

Perhaps some kind of license, or registration of metal detectorists would encourage good practice and reduce the treasure hunting.

The same could be said about archaeologists!


Metal detectorist to auction Roman helmet - the invisible man - 1st October 2010

Wax Wrote:there is so little information to go with this find that it’s practically useless

To my mind, this is exactly the point.


Metal detectorist to auction Roman helmet - the invisible man - 1st October 2010

BAJR Wrote:When two archaeologists are gathered together - there will be three points of view!

No there won't.


Metal detectorist to auction Roman helmet - Mike.T. - 1st October 2010

Madweasels Wrote:Mike T.! So, from what I understand, and please correct me if I am wrong (I am sure you will - facts are difficult to come by in this case), a detectorist had been working the fields where the helmet was found for seven years and never found anything (no PAS finds, anyway) and then the helmet turns up. Seven years, found nothing and then finds the helmet. Hmmmm...that is one incredible 'chance discovery'. Oh, and I gather that the detectorist would have had to travel a considerable distance (50+ mile) to the fields to find nothing for seven years and then find this incredible 'chance discovery'. Hmmmm

I don't know what else he was finding. Obviously he must have been finding something to draw him back to the area. 50 miles isn't a great distance to travel to a productive site and it's surprisingly easy to miss an object as big as a Roman helmet in a field. The Staffordshire hoard was found in a field that had previously been searched by 8 other metal detector users. So 8 metal detector users managed to miss finding a hoard of 1,500 objects.

Maybe the finder of the helmet did find it somewhere else . I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt, but the authorities who know a lot more about the story behind it than myself, seem satisfied with his explanation of it's discovery.


Metal detectorist to auction Roman helmet - Mike.T. - 1st October 2010

Jack Wrote:Perhaps some kind of license, or registration of metal detectorists would encourage good practice and reduce the treasure hunting.

The same could be said about archaeologists!


Yes, I think you're right on both counts.


Metal detectorist to auction Roman helmet - pdurdin - 1st October 2010

Similar to a fishing licence, with the metal detectorists having the recreational licence and the archaeologists the commercial? :face-thinks:


Metal detectorist to auction Roman helmet - BAJR - 2nd October 2010

Sounds good to me too! So lets drop the Chartered nonsense and go straight to license! :face-approve: