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A positive media story - Treasure statistics for 2019

Posted: Tue Mar 17, 2020 12:13 pm
by jph
Hi everyone,

This article caught my eye today. After all the negative press about Nighthawks, this was good to read.
Take care, be safe.

John

https://www.theguardian.com/culture/202 ... -last-year?

Re: A positive media story

Posted: Tue Mar 17, 2020 7:40 pm
by Oxgirl36
Love the annual report from PAS. Great read for us all ::g

Re: A positive media story

Posted: Wed Mar 18, 2020 8:54 am
by Oxgirl36
Some great info on treasure numbers for 2019, plus 2017 and 2018 PAS reports were published too ::g

To see the reports go here https://finds.org.uk/publications

I’ve edited the key points from the British Museum press release:

The British Museum today reveals that the number of Treasure finds made by members of the public has once again hit a record level. They reached a preliminary figure of 1,311 across England, Wales and Northern Ireland in 2019.

Some of the most significant recent Treasure finds include:
* a beautifully preserved 1,100-year-old medieval brooch, unearthed in Norfolk after a tipper truck delivered spoil to a new location. The brooch is a rare type for this period, and is intricately decorated with plants and animals in the lively ‘Trewhiddle’ style.
* a well-used Iron Age drinking set, including a 2,000-year-old bucket adorned with mythical creatures and an unusual humanoid face.
* a Roman Britain coin minted with an earlier coin die, making it a uncommon hybrid from a period when Britain first broke away from Europe.
* a solid gold Bronze age arm ring, the type of which is so scarce we are currently unable to determine whether it is British or Irish in origin.

A total of 81,602 finds were recorded with the British Museum’s Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS) in 2019.

Almost 90% of these items were discovered by metal detectorists. The British Museum said these finds are ‘deepening our understanding of history and demonstrating best practice as finders have no legal obligation to report them, but do so voluntarily.’

Norfolk was the county which produced the most finds, followed by Suffolk and Hampshire.

The latest Treasure and PAS Annual Reports, covering 2017 and 2018 respectively were also released today. The reports also highlight that:
•399 of the 1,266 Treasure finds reported in 2017 have been acquired by museums.
•The vast majority of these (92%) are acquired by local museums.
•The reports also reveal that the number of Treasure cases acquired through donation (where finders or landowners waive their rewards) was 112 cases – 26 more than at the same point last year.

Re: A positive media story - Treasure statistics for 2019

Posted: Wed Mar 18, 2020 9:55 am
by geoman
Interesting to note that the Saxon brooch was found in redeposited top soil from another site presumably a construction or similar development site.

This is an ongoing issue whereby archaeological excavation are machine stripped of their top and sub soils which is often sold to another developer to use in site restoration and so on. One wonders how many millions of small finds have been displaced that way over the last few years from large infrastucture developments such as the A14 upgrade in Cambridgshire and now HS2.

Re: A positive media story - Treasure statistics for 2019

Posted: Wed Mar 18, 2020 10:34 am
by Oxgirl36
Agreed, too many sites are being built on with all the history in it lost :(

Re: A positive media story - Treasure statistics for 2019

Posted: Wed Mar 18, 2020 4:48 pm
by beaubrummell
Nice to read such positive information about the hobby. Someone should send Tony Robinson a copy.

Re: A positive media story - Treasure statistics for 2019

Posted: Wed Mar 18, 2020 6:47 pm
by Mancave-man
I see that nearly 82,000 items were recorded in 2019. BUT how many more would have been recorded if ALL the finds reported to the FLO/PAS were recorded. I know that none of my finds beyond September 2019 have been. It's perhaps not the fault of the FLO but something needs to be done about the lack of movement on finds. ;;z

Re: A positive media story - Treasure statistics for 2019

Posted: Wed Mar 18, 2020 9:05 pm
by geoman
It is a resource issue so the PAS can only record a certain number of finds in any one year.

So it gets annoying when the mantra that detectorists should record their finds is so banded about even in the tweets of many FLO's. It is just not possible to do so. Divide the recorded figure for 2019 by the estimated number of detectorists circa 30000 and you have a figure of 2.7 items per detectorist per year.

That put my own record into sharp perspective with less than a twenty finds recorded during 2019 simply because my FLO could not take in any more to record even though they were offered.

The PAS needs resources to record more ,but throwing lots of money at the task is not going to make much of a difference so the staus quo will remain and the detractors will try to continue to portray detectorists as none recorders. Utter nonsense from the trolls and despite the willingness of finders to record it cannot be done.

Re: A positive media story - Treasure statistics for 2019

Posted: Thu Mar 19, 2020 10:43 am
by Wuntbedruv
geoman wrote:
Wed Mar 18, 2020 9:05 pm
It is a resource issue so the PAS can only record a certain number of finds in any one year.

So it gets annoying when the mantra that detectorists should record their finds is so banded about even in the tweets of many FLO's. It is just not possible to do so. Divide the recorded figure for 2019 by the estimated number of detectorists circa 30000 and you have a figure of 2.7 items per detectorist per year.

That put my own record into sharp perspective with less than a twenty finds recorded during 2019 simply because my FLO could not take in any more to record even though they were offered.

The PAS needs resources to record more ,but throwing lots of money at the task is not going to make much of a difference so the staus quo will remain and the detractors will try to continue to portray detectorists as none recorders. Utter nonsense from the trolls and despite the willingness of finders to record it cannot be done.
And that is the paradox there! As an ex-FLO, we wanted people to record finds but at the same time didn't want thousands more people coming in the door to make the job unsustainable. It's a difficult juggling act with no easy resolution, not unless the government decides to announce funding for another 20 FLOs based further within counties.

Future strategies for the PAS should start with pushing back further the date of non-Treasure items recorded to c. 1550 with exceptions for things of local interest (trade tokens, foreign coinage, unusual artefacts with no parallel, uncommon artefacts of an unusual level of completeness/condition or research value and artefacts that can be connected with specific individuals). They also should stop recording finds from sites that have large numbers of finds recorded from them already which aren't going to change patterns of that site (e.g. why continue to record Roman coins from a site when you have 3000 recorded there already and the pattern/trend is set out) and focus on recording finds from areas where our knowledge is scant. They also need to stop photographing everything, Medieval bog standard buckles and strap ends do not need photos because they fit into a standard typology where you can go 'looks like this one'.

The above approach is how it is done in East Anglia and works well, a much higher degree of recording and output from there. Unfortunately, it is resisted elsewhere despite the obvious benefits and time it would free up.

Re: A positive media story - Treasure statistics for 2019

Posted: Fri Mar 20, 2020 10:17 am
by geoman
Yes the situation is far from ideal, yet the PAS although are happy to state that their FLO's are working at capacity, there is no acknowledgement that finds are going unrecorded because of the resource issues. This when met with less than truthful comments from the various detractors, gives the appearance that detectorists are not recording their finds when in reality the mechanisms to do so are simply not there.

When i mentioned the situation with my FLO they said become a self recorder - now there is a task and a half unless you are retired , rich and with endless time on your hands. It is not for many hence i believe there are currently 161 self recorders according to the PAS statistics.

The situation is not going to change in the foreseeable future with the PAS tied to funding as a part of department of the BM competing with everyone else for scarce funds. However i understand that the FLO's under their local managers are being tasked with looking at ways to commercialise their work, with finds recording being one of the only aspects to remain free. That is going to compromise a lot of what the FLO's do with conflicting demands from layers of management with differing priorities.

Re: A positive media story - Treasure statistics for 2019

Posted: Sun Mar 22, 2020 6:15 pm
by Mancave-man
Self recording is okay IF you can properly identify your object but how many of us have the means or the ability to do that? Personally, I offer all my coin finds that can be identified for recording, if they are older than 300 years and then only offer the FLO the other identifiable items if they can record them (which isn't that many to be fair). I don't know what the answer is but more FLO's is the what's required but we know that probably won't happen. Pity the poor FLO's who work hard for scant reward on our behalf. :-L :-L

Re: A positive media story - Treasure statistics for 2019

Posted: Sun Mar 22, 2020 6:32 pm
by geoman
More FLO's would only produce more of the same- restrictions on the number of items they can take in for recording. Remember most FLO's are busy with 25 or so finds per week and are very selective in what they take in.