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Another Detecting find changes perception of Anglo Saxon Britian
Right... have talked with Birmingham Archaeology - (mainly to highlight some rather unflattering comments on other sites - so they are aware. Though I feel it would be best to ignore them, rather than comment)

All I will say is that an Anglo-French War is looming!

To bring the discussion about the merits of the Archaeology - the finds were in ploughsoil - deep ploughsoil, and as archaeologists (not students - but real archaeologists) were able to identify that which was in ploughsoil, and that which were in sealed context. The Video quality was maybe not of the best, and really only concentrated on when somebody found something, rather than the 99% of the time when they were carefully digging, sieving and otherwise doing what Archaeological Companies do. What you see is just a bad edit, rather than any evidence of bad practice.

Although I winced a couple of times, I know myself that when you are in the field, you can 'feel' when something is ready to come out, and when its not. Additionally, it is important to recognise this was ploughsoil.

Indeed the only thing that I say to detectorists is they should learn to recognise when ploughsoil turns to solid undisturbed subsoil.... hit that, and anything taken out is taken from a real context. The Wantage brooch for example came from such a solid context, and the detectorist recognised this was important enough to stop... and therefore allows the saving of a whole grave.

After hearing from BA, I am happy to stand up and say... nothing to see here ... move along Big Grin
For really I think that the poorest he that is in England hath a life to live, as the greatest he
Thomas Rainborough 1647
Well, I haven't seen any of the other comments but how many of the commentators are actually archaeologists? I would be terrified of the thought of having someone film me while I excavated one of the 'most important finds in the world ever' - it isn't exactly brain surgery, can be quite vigorous and you are probably not going to look good one way or another. Are these the same sort of comments that criticise the use of machines or mattocks, which, let's face it, are a fairly brutal but perfectly acceptable in the right circumstances? I wouldn't feel qualified to criticise a detectorist for not using 'best practice', whatever that might even be (assuming they weren't doing something illegal); how qualified are the critics of this video?

Perhaps we should start basing all of our opions of the world on what is available on YouTube!
I'm glad David got in touch with the people involved and found out a little more.
I picked the video story up from a few blogs round and about and must admit that I personally thought "thats not how archaeologists excavate finds" hence my question to the group.

David is correct about the Wantage find and that the guy called in the correct people as soon as he discovered his find.
The message is getting out there and people are beginning to learn and listen. I know to some its sickening and shouldn't happen in the first place... but I really believe so much is being added to the historical record.
The one million dollar question I suppose.. "is it worth it"?? I think the Staffordshire hoard shows it is.

Further comment from The Guardian

This treasure stirs the West Midlands' Anglo-Saxon soul

The Staffordshire hoard has brought history to life in modern-day Mercia ? and it is here that the collection has to return
For really I think that the poorest he that is in England hath a life to live, as the greatest he
Thomas Rainborough 1647

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