Thursday, 23 February 2017

Treasure Find no 'Accident'

Beeston Castle
Staff reporter, 'Treasure hunter stumbles on medieval coins while using metal detector near Chester', Chester Standard, 22 February 2017 well, unless he went out with a metal detector to find sunbathing teenagers (unlikely this time of the year) or abandoned tent pegs on a campsite before the grass is cut, it's a fair bet that this bloke was out with his metal detector actively searching for precisely the type of thing he found. It was no 'accident' that treasure hunter Malcolm Shepherd, of Abergele, discovered 26 coins while using his metal detector in the Beeston area on January 28 this year. He'd driven 63 kilometres along the A55 and A51 and then some narrow country roads to target this precise search area. He'd not come there by chance.

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Petition: Save Canterbury Heritage Museum

With many fond memories of my time spent with the Archaeological Trust in this amazing city
Petition: Save Canterbury Heritage Museum
[there is a sneaky bit at the end where ipetitions tries to cadge a donation from you, if you feel disinclined to play along with them, just close the window, your signature is already recorded].

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Art trade amendments to looted art bill rejected in parliament

Those poor antiquities dealers are claiming they are hard-done by and being victimised again (Laura Chesters, ' Art trade amendments to looted art bill rejected in parliament Antiques Trade Gazette   21 Feb 2017).   

The UK government has passed the third reading of the Cultural Property (Armed Conflicts) Bill,   designed to tackle the looting and destruction of cultural heritage in conflict zones. In the debates leading up to this, Kensington MP and the British Antique Dealers Association  president Victoria Borwick had implored ministers to “consider the views of the art and antiques industry”. Parliament however it roundly opposed amendments to the draft bill called for by the art and antiques trade.
Among those calling for amendments to the bill, were members of the art trade who had called for changes including clarification of the definition of “cultural property” and the meaning of the phrase “having reason to suspect” in the wording of the clause relating to “dealing in unlawfully exported cultural property” [clause 17.1 of the bill]. [...] However Tracey Crouch MP, the under-secretary of state for Culture, Media and Sport, who steered the bill through parliament, said: “Dealers should always be concerned to ensure that any objects they deal in have good and lawful provenance.” She said issues in the art market around provenance “will not be solved by watering down this bill”. She added that after consulting with the art trade there was "no clear evidence... this bill would create an insurmountable problem for the art market or increase the amount of due diligence that the dealers need to take. It will however provide a deterrent for those unscrupulous dealers who might be tempted to deal in unlawfully exported cultural property". 
So once again, antiquities dealers were trying to stall a cleaning up of the market by raising (US lobbyist style) pretended difficulties which in fact do not exist in any licit business. In fact the Bill cites the seminal definition of ‘cultural property’, as defined in The Hague Convention 1954 (so antiquities dealers have had ample time to consider, and challenge if they see fit, this notion - but then these atavistic milieu tends not to prioritise any form of forward looking considerations).

Rebecca Davies, chief executive of LAPADA, said [...] As things stand, and without clear guidance on this, art market professionals will face the choice of ignoring the unsubstantiated claim [on an object they were handling] and risk prosecution or accept that any claim, regardless of merit, would create grounds for suspicion under the terms of the act and effectively taint the object while exposing them to the risk of prosecution if they ignored the claim.” 
Absolutely, that is how it should be. When will dealers realise that the outside world expects would-be respectable dealers to handle only material which can be shown on the basis of proper business documentation not to be potentially tainted  - and in the British situation that means complying in full with the terms of the 2003 'Dealing in cultural property ((offences) Act'  - also in force long enough now for the dealers concerned to know its wording and act accordingly in filling their stock rooms.

Monday, 20 February 2017

Assumptions in Question in New Times

When voters feel democracy is not serving their interests, freedom starts to falter (Gideon Rachman, 'The authoritarian wave reaches the west' Financial Times, 20th Feb 2017): 
[...] This authoritarian wave threatens to undermine comfortable assumptions about how politics works. The belief that the politics of the rich, established democracies of the west are fundamentally different from those of Latin America or Asia may need to be rethought. The idea that the middle-class and the young will always be the most stalwart supporters of democracy is also looking increasingly rocky.
It seems not to be being noticed that the assumptions concerning 'western' attitudes to cultural heritage may be yet another casualty of the new times we seem to be entering.

Vignette: Financial Times

The UK 'Cultural Property Bill' has been Passed

In the UK, the the Cultural Property Bill has been passed
A Bill to enable the United Kingdom to implement the Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict of 1954 and the Protocols to that Convention of 1954 and 1999
definitely not before time...

Vitaly Churkin has died

The Russian Ambassador to the UN Vitaly Churkin, has passed away, he was 65. The ambassador has figured on this blog in connection with certain pronouncements on the trade in antiquities from the Middle East.

Thieving metal detectorist Cop Sacked

A policeman who found £15,000 of gold coins with his metal detector has been sacked for cheating the landowner out of a share of the treasure. PC David Cockle last month admitted theft and keeping the proceeds of the sale of coins found in a Norfolk field. A misconduct hearing was told Cockle had agreed to a 50:50 split with the famer of anything valuable he found. Norfolk Chief Constable Simon Bailey, who dismissed Cockle, said it "was one of the grossest breaches of trust" [...]  Cockle, 51, who now lives in Leigh, Lancashire, will be sentenced at Ipswich Crown Court next month after criminal proceedings were brought against him by the Norfolk force. As well as pleading guilty to theft, Cockle faced three counts of handling criminal property. 
BBC 'Policeman sacked for keeping metal detecting gold coin proceeds' 20th Feb 2017.

Beats me why anyone would 'trust' a metal detectorist in the first place, the farmer was not cheated out of a 'share' in the value of the property taken from his land, he owns all of it.

Train Spotting as Archaeology?

We've got a packed programme of archaeological activities coming up on Sat - from flint-knapping to metal detecting
IUn what way is flint knapping, a manual dexterity and hand-eye-coordination activity an 'archaeological' one? Rubbish. and 'metal detecting'? That's what they do in airport checkins, isn't it? Wjhy is that 'archaeological'? How about enrolling for a course advertised by clueless morons?

Sunday, 19 February 2017

That Recurrent 'Smolensk Lie'

General Piotr Pytel informs public opinion about the true views expressed on the Smolensk aircraft crash behind closed doors by one of the main PL government mystical conspiracy theorists

He was dismissed. The plane hit trees in fog as it was trying to land 10th April 2010 killing nearly a hundred VIPs on board. But claims to an alternative truth which the present government says it aims to 'uncover' are one of the main props to the populists' claim to power.

Exploitive artefact hunters Mislead Landowners

In England, artefact hunting heritage pocketers consider themselves 'generous' if they return to a landowner what they've taken from them... 

 Let us take a look at a random page of the 'identification and valuation' page of The Searcher, to get an idea of the average value placed by the market on run-of-the-mill artefacts: £50, £180-200, £80, £40-60, £30, £120, £120-150, £220, 300+, £15-18, £60, £120-150, £80-90, £40, £120, £20, £30, £80.... I think we get the idea. Metal detectorists claim they are 'not interested in the money', but every single one of them is aware that the artefacts they rmove from a landowner's property are not without (monetary) value, and cumulatively the resale value of even a small collection of historical metal artefacts can be quite substantial. How much of the money raised by the sale of such a collection (for exaple by heirs) ever gets back to the landowner? How many artefact hunters create the sort of documentation that would allow this?

No. it is not the artefact hunter who is generous, these people are exploiting the lack of awareness of the landowners and it should be the job of the PAS to inform the landowner of this as a public service to STOP the rip-off merchant collectors  profiting from keeping landowners in the dark.


Saturday, 18 February 2017

"Our hot sites which are now picked clean as a buzzerds bones"

"Why is mudlarking becoming more popular in London?" ask the BBC
The treasure hunters of the River Thames  (16 February 2017). Probably because the selfish want to get 'their share' before its all gone:
The beeb world service reporters were on the foreshore back in the 80s trying to get voice recordings ..But I told em to P**s off as did other diggers at the time ..Why would we want to advertise our hot sites which are now picked clean as a buzzerds (sic) bones ..(post by 'Targets' Sat Feb 18, 2017 12:02 pm my emphasis)
The archaeological record, of London too, is a finite resource. Once it is gone it is gone.
Hat tip Nigel Swift

The Things UK Detectorists say about Partnership

bus depot
The UK metal detectorist, self-confessed hoiker and conspiracy theorist, John Howland of Bournemouth bus depot has posted this comment about archaeological bloggers who question current policies on artefact hunting:
the kind of people waging a jihad against our pastime includes a minority of foul-mouthed slobs and ivory tower dwelling prejudiced ‘academics’, who have no compunction in exploiting the more vulnerable of their own kind, who, if you read the content of their blogs, you will see are completely off their trollies – or put another way, are more than a few coins short of hoard – in common parlance; ‘nutters.’ These barmy buggers are best ignored, to be pitied even, owing to of thier (sic) inability to grasp (sic) any sense of reality. What disturbs me though, are those other academics and archaeologists who use these poor weak-minds souls to fire the bullets they themselves are shit-scared to do (sic). These ‘abusers’ – for that is what they – are readily identifiable, and a stain on the those (sic) who accuse us of all the heritage ills. When it comes to using mental cripples to promote one’s advocacy, then the lowest depths have been plumbed. Best Hoiker Howland
I leave it up to my readers to identify who they consider to be the real mental cripples and illiterates in the heritage debate, but I think this raises the question - why does that writer expect academics and archaeologists be 'scared sh*tl*ss' of artefact hunters engaged in a pastime? Surely the official narrative promoted by both sides is that the two are 'partners', no?

Friday, 17 February 2017

Metal Detectorists Taking Grievances to the European Parliament

The 'European Council of metal Detecting' exists to 'promote, protect and encourage' the collection-driven exploitation (CDE) of the archaeological record. It was formed with the connivance of the British Museum's Portable Antiquities Scheme and is now lobbying to get pilfering the archaeological record for collectables for personal entertainment and profit made legal in other countries of the EU. To this aim the hoikers got tarted up in suits and visited the European Parliament this month (ecmdeu, 'ECMD at the European Parliament' February 11, 2017). They just do not get it:
ECMD believes strongly that responsible metal detecting should be treated fairly in all European countries.As promised earlier, we’ve also started lobbying at the European Parliament in Brussels, hoping that eventually one standard of practices related to detecting will be adopted throughout Europe.
Bird eggers probably would be saying the same if was still legal in the UK. Fortunately since Britain will soon be excluded from the EU, the standard we'll be adopting here will not be theirs. In the photo, smug Polish tekkie Filip Jarosz meets Polish climate-change denying MEP Janusz Lewandowski.

 Basically you'd have to be a complete moron to claim anything like this:
Some authorities are not adequately educated about the topic of metal detecting. As a result, metal detecting is governed by ambiguous and unfair laws in many different European countries. For example, it is entirely possible to accidentally come across an ancient artefact without actually intending to find it. However, simply finding such objects is illegal in some countries. As a result, many people are forced to hide their accidental discoveries in order to avoid getting prosecuted, as opposed to simply informing a museum or an archaeologist about their find.
Heritage professionals in all EU countries are perfectly well 'educated' and they know all about collection-driven exploitation of the archaeological record. The laws are no more unfair on those that want to privately and destructively exploit a common resource for their own personal entertainment and profit than those conserving any other resource for the public good. And Mr Jarosz will no doubt be able to give us examples of the legislation that make the accidental discovery of artefacts 'illegal'. That is the type of '\alternative fact' that artefact collectors use to support their case. The rest of us call that simply lying.

Anyway these poor lost souls really need to clue themselves up about how EU institutions work, it is not the European Parliament that will decide common cultural European policy, but the Council of Europe, and they already have a perfectly clear (and 'educated') 'Resolution on metal detecting' (no. 921) which shows clearly what is what. It in fact advocates strengthening the laws to prevent CDE of the archaeological record (points 9 and 14). These new attempts by heritage-pocketers make even more urgent the task of putting these measures into effect.


Cemetery of Saydnaya prison Victims? Unlikely

Amnesty International published a report about killings in Saydnaya prison (Syria) last week, and this week in answer to the question where the bodies went, a handout photo is produced:

Original caption: "A handout image by Amnesty International shows the military-run Saydnaya prison, one of Syria's largest detention centres located 30 kilometres (18 miles) north of Damascus, in two distinct satellite pictures, one taken on March 3, 2010 (L) and the other of the same taken on September 18, 2016. AFP/AFP/Handout "
This however seems to show a moderate-sized civilian cemetery. Note the co-ordinates given  33.3927°, 36.3685°.... which turns out to be a small village cemetery for the settlement Kherbet Al-Ward, some 33 km south of the Saydnaya prison, on the other side of Damascus. The satellite photos of the prison itself (33°39'54.99"N  36°19'43.22"E) do not seem to show any mass grave sites.

Ethics of Acquiring Cultural Heritage Objects

“Conference participants will examine, from a multitude of perspectives,
ethical matters related to systems and networks of trade in conflict antiquities,
policies and practices of protection, rightful stewardship, repatriation, and
digitally and artistically re-imaged cultural heritage sites and objects.
The conference provides an opportunity to parse the many intertwined
layers related to cultural heritage and its ethical treatment.”

Ethics of Acquiring Cultural Heritage Objects focus of W and L conference Published Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017,
Neil Brodie, senior research fellow in Endangered Archaeology in the Middle East and North Africa at the University of Oxford, is the keynote speaker for the Mudd Center for Ethics’ interdisciplinary conference on “The Ethics of Acquiring Cultural Heritage Objects” at Washington and Lee University. Brodie’s lecture will kick off the conference on March 2 at 5 p.m. in Stackhouse Theater, Elrod Commons. He will speak on “Controlling the Globalized Market in Cultural Object: Closing the Gap Between Law and Ethics.” His talk is free and open to the public. [...]  “International regulatory policy aimed at protecting cultural heritage seems to be floundering,” said Brodie. “Whether taken remotely by satellites or close-up with cell phones, images of looted landscapes in Syria tell the same story – widespread destruction of cultural heritage is an ever-present accompaniment to conflict and is out of control. The carefully worked out systems of legal and normative regulation developed since the middle years of the 20th century seem unable to cope, overwhelmed by the liquid reality of the twenty-first century market.”[...] The March 3 conference on the “Ethics of Acquiring Cultural Heritage Objects” will look at the ethical and cultural heritage concerns surrounding the looting and trafficking of art objects in the Middle East, South Asia and the West. 

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Travis Hits Gold

From the Tim's Pirate Band Ancient Artefact Collectors Discussion Group:
Real Ptolemaic shabti? Wed Feb 15, 2017 2:53 am (PST) . Posted by: Travis
Hello all, I am just starting out (ordered my copy of "Egyptian Shabtis" by H.M. Stewart a few days ago), and am waiting to make any big purchases until I am more well-versed; however, I came across a listing that seems like a good, inexpensive starter piece. The seller is from this list of trusted dealers I came across; however, the list is from 2010 so I thought I'd double check here before I purchase. Many thanks for your insights into the authenticity. See attachment for photo. The description reads: "Egyptian Faience Ushabti, Ptolemaic Period, 332 - 30 BC. Mold made blue-green faience ushabti. The figure wears the typical wig and beard, and carries a pick and hoe. On the back is a central column and a basket on the left shoulder. 11.2 cm tall. Intact, no repairs." Respectfully, Travis
The dealer is Barry and Darling, who very rarely can supply a proper documented collecting history for the antiquities they sell. Why is it that starter collectors are more worried about 'authenticity' of artefacts and not their licit origins? I doubt whether 'Travis' was interested enough to read through the introduction to the list to which he refers (which, if he'd read it he'd have spotted that it actually came from the very same forum he was asking whether members agreed with it !) or down to the bottom of my post. It was probably too many words for the neophyte.  Anyway, the list was reproduced not to help collectors buy undocumented items, like this one, but as I said to provide a checklist of websites and venues where the workings of the antiquities trade can be examined at first hand. 'Carefree Travis' seems less concerned about that... Travis also seems to think rather amateurishly that a Shire Archaeology paperback is the definitive reference....

He might also like to think about the fact that the items he is thinking of collecting were all made to be piously placed in tombs, and these tombs are now being located and opened on an industrial scale by grave-robbing looters in order to hoik out stuff they can flog to the dealers who supply the likes of the folk on my list. If he was at all bothered about the ethics of all this, 'Travis' might like to ask the dealer selling these items on about what happened to the human remains disturbed in this shabti-producing plunder of the ancient sites of Egypt. More than likely the grave robbers treated them like they do all over Egypt, as here.

Looted mummy remains at El Hibeh
Without the documentation, walk away Travis, don't buy objects that you cannot verify were not looted recently by commercial grave robbers.

PAS Karaoke Recording Explained

The PAS presented the PAStExplorers project (karaoke recorders) as a 'community contribution' at the 'Age Friendly Museums' conference held at the BM, illustrated by some twee 1970s-style cartoons. Here's theirs:

Note the fossils. Note also the statement about government commitment - the scheme now cannot work without volunteers. So, instead of archaeological liaison between finders and professional archaeologists we are getting a 'database' created on the basis of karaoke recording by students, metal detectorists and OAPs, who are offered 'structure' in their life, a social life, rehabilitation and it's all so very flexible, anything goes? What's this all about? The PAS seems to have lost allsense of its identity, once aspiring to be 'citizen science' producing academically usable data to rigorously-high standards, it has now declined to seeing itself as basically a social club for OAPs and metal detectorists. 

Dutch Art Restitution Dancing to the Kremlin's Tune

Russians were involved in an effort to influence a Dutch referendum last year on a trade agreement with Ukraine. (Andrew Higginsfer, 'Fake News, Fake Ukrainians: How Russians Tilted a Dutch Vote' Feb 16th, 2017)
They attended public meetings, appeared on television and used social media to denounce Ukraine’s pro-Western government as a bloodthirsty kleptocracy, unworthy of Dutch support. [...] The Dutch referendum, held last April, became a battering ram aimed at the European Union. With turnout low, Dutch voters rejected the trade agreement between the European Union and Ukraine, delighting Moscow, emboldening pro-Russia populists around Europe and leaving political elites aghast.
We remember another element in the rhetoric depicting Ukraine as a kleptocracy were the accusations, never justified or proven, by Arthur brand and the museum curator Ad Geerdink, that Ukrainian politicians were directly involved in the affair. it turned out that neither of them were able to determine whether they were dealing with Ukrainian or Russian sources. Shame on them. They need to apologise for their amateurish blundering.

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Trump on Israel/Palestine Issues

Donald Trump betrays his dangerous ignorance of the situation concerning the relationships between Israel and Palestine and indicates US disengagement from attempts to negotiate a settlement ( Peter Beaumont, 'Trump casts aside decades of Middle East diplomacy in one sentence', Guardian Wednesday 15 February 2017).
But it was in what the neophyte president did not say – and perhaps does not even understand – that the real substance lay. Gone was any talk about Palestinian ambitions for a state. Instead, Trump’s remarks reinforced the inherent asymmetry in the two parties’ positions. Israel is a state with widespread international recognition. It has a powerful military and is a technological power. Crucially, it is the occupier of the Palestinian territories, an occupation now entering its 50th year, which has seen continued Jewish settlement building and settlement announcements –  6,000 since Trump’s inauguration. With America’s withdrawal as a shaping force, the negotiation devolves to a non-process between an occupying body that doesn’t really want to end its occupation, and an occupied body with little leverage outside of the international support for its cause. That is not all. In other aspects, Trump’s comments were deeply contradictory, showing an apparent ignorance of the subject he was addressing.

The Dangers of Olive Oil for Dummies

FLO Vanessa Oakden in a blog full of exclamation marks informs 'members of the public' of 'The Dangers of Olive Oil!' (15th February 2017). The problem is that metal finds are being ‘treated’ with olive oil by their collectors. She reckons the darkening of the 'patina' makes the archaeologist's job difficult:
for finds which are difficult to date, due to being in use throughout several periods, this obscuring of the natural patina makes dating the object considerably more difficult. [it causes] [...] difficulties dating some objects
I really do not follow this argument, probably it makes more sense if you're a metal detectorist. But 'there is a more serious reason why you should put the olive oil down'
Here is the science bit! Conservator Pieta Greaves of explains: The main problem with olive oil is that it is a fat, it is effected (sic) by oxygen and light so degrades quickly if just left around. Essentially people are exposing objects to something than begins to rot and goes rancid inside the object. It also is likely to contain sulphur which actively attacks metals in particular. It is not reversible as a treatment and will in the end destroy the object.
The main problem is that it in itself contains organic acids, as pointed out on this blog a while back.

'UK Metal Detecting: Olive Oil Again' PACHI Tuesday, 23 June 2015 ('Without a proper PAS to guide them, we'll be seeing from now on more and more of this sort of thing from UK metal detectors: 'Does Olive oil work? THE TEST' (by Addicted to bleeps » Sun Jun 21, 2015)...'

'Focus on Metal Detecting Gatekeeper Rodgers' PACHI Saturday, 27 June 2015 

"Preserving the past" UK Detectorist Style PACHI Saturday, 29 August 2015 

UPDATE  16th Feb 2017
and now FLO Vanessa Oakden has blocked a member of her public (me) from seeing her twitter account. No, please come over here Ms Oakeden and explain why you wrote what you wrote instead of running away like a frightened schoolgirl. Cat got your tongue when faced with questions from somebody whose not a thugwit detectorist or impressed by you posting 'heart shaped objects for Valentine's Day'? Shame on you woman, that is supposed to be 'archaeological outreach'? Pathetic, the lot of you.

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Appeals court upholds dismissal of wrongful-death suit filed over 2009 arrest, suicide of Blanding doctor.

Readers may remember this case. Appeals court upholds dismissal of wrongful-death suit filed over 2009 arrest, suicide of Blanding doctor. I query the description of the good doctor and his family as 'law-abiding' if he had in his house so many Native American artefacts taken from sites (including potentially cemeteries) on federal land. And if you break the law in the US, expect a visit from the police.

Stolen artefacts from Turkey found in Germany

one of the missing objects

Stolen artifacts from the Kocaeli Archaeology Museum (Turkey) have been found in Germany (Ömer Erbil, 'Stolen artifacts from Turkey found in Germany', Hurriyet  Wednesday,February 15 2017),
Several artefacts from Izmir were stolen from the Kocaeli Archaeology Museum (Turkey) in 2009 in 2012, one of the security guards was suspected of being involved in the crime and  the museum director of the time was also discharged.
Turkey later informed Interpol about the lost artifacts and in 2013, German police informed Turkish officials that the artifacts had been put up for sale by the Sixbid auction house in Germany. The artifacts had been put up for sale on the Internet, and the Turkish Foreign Ministry applied to the auction house to return the artifacts. The online sale was canceled but the auction company did not accept that the artifacts were stolen. In a written statement, the Culture and Tourism Ministry said talks about the artifacts were still ongoing and added that it would take further steps if there was no positive result.
 It is unclear how 'Sixbid' can claim the artefacts are of legal origins if they were excavated just a few years earlier and were included in the museum inventory subsequently. What documentation do they rely on and who was the consigner? What checks are carried out to ensure such items 'surfacing' on the market have verifiable licit origins?

Tudor Costume Fastener NOT 'Found by Chance'

 G. WIlkinson, 'This tiny 500-year-old Tudor treasure was found by chance in field near Helston',  Cornwall Live February 09, 2017 
Amateur metal detectorist Rosemary Rundle, from Porthleven, scooped up a ball of earth from a farmer's field near Helston and immediately picked out highlights of silver. Her remarkable find in 2015 turned out to be a silver-gilt Tudor clothes hook [...] Ms Rundle had only taken up metal detecting as a hobby five months before her discovery. [...]  She said:[...] I imagine a wealthy man riding across a field – I don't know why he should be riding, but he is – and one of these has pinged off. 
It is a singularly brainless remark to suggest that a metal object was found 'by chance' when a person goes out in a field looking for metal objects with a metal detector.

No Respect for British Heritage

I expect some will blame it on 'Moslems': blaze at Grade II-listed Church of the Ascension at Salford is being treated as arson.

Heritage Hoikers Pilfer Norfolk Site

Artefact hunting is being reported at  Weeting Castle, Norfolk. The incident is believed to have involved seven men and to have taken place over three consecutive nights towards the end of January and beginning of February (Rebecca Murphy, '' Watton and Swaffham times, 13 February, 2017) . The police are calling for witnessesand no doubt their phone lines will be flooded by responsible metal detectorists offering leads. Interestingly, this is in Norfolk where the propagandists will tell you many years of 'liaison' has reduced the number of such incidents. This obvious and known site is a prime candidate for being a 'productive site' for artefact hunters, whether singly or working in gangs, but is protected by law from heritage pocketers. Hundreds of thousands of other prominent and known sites however all over the UK are totally unprotected and much of the heritage they contain can be pocketed and/or flogged off quite legally. Not that anybody in Bonkers Britain worries about that.

Monday, 13 February 2017

Albania stops smugglers of 230 ancient Apollonia artefacts

Artefacts from Apollonia
Albania stops smugglers of 230 ancient Apollonia artifacts', February 12, 2017

 Albanian police have arrested two men with what they say are  230 archaeological artifacts from ancient Apollonia in their possession.
A statement Sunday said pots, vases, parts of ceramic bottles and other artifacts were found at the arrested men's houses in Radostine, a village 120 kilometers (75 miles) south of the capital, Tirana. It says the artifacts were "dug up at Apollonia national park." Police still are seeking two more people. All are charged with smuggling and theft of artworks of national importance, a felony that carries up to 15 years in jail. 

Saturday, 11 February 2017

Slimeball Grabbing Pseudo-environmentalists and Real Country-Lovers

Heritage Action are again hitting the nail on the head when it comes to the two-faced slimeballs that many detector users are, pretending to be 'concerned' about something and demanding action is taken by somebody else (anyone but them of course, typical collector-talk), and... then when somebody starts doing something suddenly do a about face when it seems it might affect their own interests ('The scourge of contaminated green waste: what YOU can do!' 11th Feb 2017).
Compare and contrast a similar App launched by the Ramblers Association. But then, ramblers are a different breed. They’re not on the land to take stuff for themselves. As for “Lets just hope that farmers don't get wind of the app” we hope they do. If you know any farmers we suggest you tell them!
Go on, troll the heritage pocketing detectorists, tell a farmer. Of course if Britain was staying in the EU there'd probably be European subsidies for British landowners to clear the contamination if the results of teh survey showed the problem was a serious enough one. But since 96% of metal detectorists voted to 'leave' (thickoes, the lot of them), the subsidies will be going to other landowners. And Britain will not have the money because they promised all those millions a day to the National Health Service and the thickoes believed them.

Friday, 10 February 2017

Under Trump, US Coineys Withdraw From Open Debate

The 'America First' US coin trade's interest group the ACCG now has a twitter account through which, no doubt they intend to express the degree of their intent to engage in debate with the rest of the world on how to work with other interested groups to protect the US numismatic market from infiltration by illicitly-excavated and smuggled coins. I think this screenshot just about sums up what to expect from this smug gang of six in that area:

But then:
I guess some people just cannot keep up with a discussion where unlike the passive coin fondlers, somebody actually engages with the arguments applied. That suggests that the discussant is all too aware that the arguments  themselves are weakly founded - and in actual fact are merely attention-seeking sniping.

And what a shame, this morning I was going to tweet both a question about the ACCG Code of Ethics....

Tompa  praises tribal art dealer Thomas Murray, for representing 'the interests of his trade constituents by asking some "hard questions" at Cultural Property Advisory Committee   hearings', but is seems he is unable to cope with answering any himself. Coward.

Thursday, 9 February 2017

'Donaeld The Unready'

The Twitter account 'Donaeld The Unready' (@donaeldunready) already has 86700 observers out there and it began just four days ago. The author describes himself as based in Lichfield and
The best medieval King out there. I'm the bretwalda. The bestwalda. I've got great swords, everyone says so. Make Mercia Great Again. Great thoughts, all my own
The author is unknown, but would seem to be very well up in Early Medieval British history. Really quite clever, Unræd here will have the sense 'poor counsel'.

The idea might have been suggested by this New York Times article by  Paul Krugman (Jan 20th 2017)

[See also:  Lee Moran, 'Trump Parody Account Tweets Like A Power-Crazed Medieval King', The Huffington Post 7th Feb 2017].

Prevent illicit antiquities coming onto UK market

Final £85k secures Lenborough Anglo Saxon coin hoard

Richard de Pever
BBC 'Final £85k secures Lenborough Anglo Saxon coin hoard'  
Museum director Richard de Peyer said: "The grants we have had make this a story that the museum can now tell with conviction and build into our ambitious plans for the future."
Of course you cannot, because it was dug up like potatoes. Stop telling museum lies. You just want to show off shiny stuff to gawping proles, the actual archaeological context is irrelevant to your purely object-centric approach.

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