Sunday, 14 May 2017

Oh Yeah?

'The Portable Antiquities Scheme is a project to encourage the voluntary recording of archaeological objects – not just Treasure – found by members of the public in England and Wales.'
But... Treasure Act 1996 c. 24 Art 12 Report on operation of Act.
'As soon as reasonably practicable after each anniversary of the coming into force of this section, the Secretary of State shall lay before Parliament a report on the operation of this Act in the preceding year'.
Treasure reporting is already defined by an act of law, The Secretary of State does not lay the Portable Antiquities Database before parliament annually - so why is the reporting of Treasure items being duplicated at public expense in an extra-legal form? The PAS was set up alongside the Treasure Ac t in 1996 to serve a specific purpose vis a vis the Valetta Convention Arts 2 and 3. That purpose has now been both subverted (it is not working) and abandoned. 

The inclusion of Treasure finds (which will include a high proportion of coin hoards with multiple 'numbers of objects' in each one) in the PAS database is intended to boost 'finds recorded by us' figures. It is also chalk and cheese, the PAS database is to record finds made by members of the public, while Treasure finds made by archaeologists (such as here and here) have to be reported as Treasure. All this gives a false picture of the degree to which UK artefact hunters are responsibly reporting the finds they pocket. 

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