Spring Detectival 6-7th April 2019

Please post any metal detecting Events or Rallies here.
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Re: Spring Detectival 6-7th April 2019

Post by littleboot » Mon Apr 08, 2019 10:55 am

So very pleased for the people who found this. :)) I guard against being sucked into thinking like an archeologist with regards to things like this. They are academics and see things from that perspective only. That doesn't mean it is the only valid way of evaluating the past, or that not sharing their perspective entirely means I don't appreciate the historical context etc etc But I also think it can be overdone. Yes, it is history and these coins make one think of what their story was and all that and of course that is fascinating and important.
But more important, to my way of thinking, is what these coins mean for the future. They were always meant to provide for that and of course the depositor of them never got to realise that potential. But now they will certainly provide more opportunity and choices to the people who found them and, by extension, their families. That is priceless.


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Re: Spring Detectival 6-7th April 2019

Post by Wuntbedruv » Mon Apr 08, 2019 12:38 pm

Oxgirl36 wrote:
Sat Apr 06, 2019 10:33 pm
From the official sources it appears the ‘free for all’ was actually only authorised people. The officials from the event and the family and friends of the finder.

Mark, who organisers the event, is well used to these situations. I know everyone at the event was provided with the official guidelines, supplied by the FLO, on what to do in the event of a hoard find. I wasn’t there but he tweeted last night that official guidelines had been printed to hand out.

Shame the coverage looks chaotic but hopefully the reality was more organised. Certainly the latest tweets imply nothing went missing and everyone was comfortable that the site had and is secure ::g

It’s important the detecting codes are followed in these instances and it appears that actually (to the best of their ability without the FLO being present as he sadly couldn’t attend) it was.

I was working on the finds recording team (I freelance for the Metal Detectives doing their finds reports) when the call came in and arrived on the scene five minutes after the hoard was discovered. As one of two qualified archaeologists on site at that time, me and my colleague took charge with input and advice on procedure from the Oxfordshire FLO via the phone (who arrived a couple of hours later) and took over the process.

The footage does look chaotic but the reality of the situation was that anyone not connected with the hoard was very quickly moved away from the area and a very large perimeter put around the hoard (which was extended twice). Everyone inside the hoard area had permission to be there from the organiser and finders. After the first 30 minutes, things had calmed down a good deal and everything fell into place quite nicely. I will not hesitate to say that it was a stressful and fast-moving situation to begin with, as these things often are. It is a lot to take in.

The hoard was found on ex-cultivated land now left to grass, ploughed to a depth of about 10-12 inches and also variously subsoiled in the past. It became very clear to us quickly that most of the coins were scattered away downhill from the main deposit within the turbated/disturbed topsoil, most under 5 inches deep. I would say that the total scatter encompassed an area of about ten square metres, with a fair few isolated coins as far away as 75 yards from that. The finders had identified a very large signal slightly up the hill from this that was deeper and thus it was decided to open a small 2x1.5 metre slot trench directly over this as it seemed to reflect the remains of the in-situ part of the hoard. Recovery of coins in the scattered patch to the south continued and was quite loud/boisterous (gold is exciting, obviously) but supervised-none of the coins in this area were recovered from an archaeological context, all were well within the topsoil. I was fairly vocal in telling people not to dig any deeper than 7-8 inches so as to keep well away from the layers under the topsoil, and despite the excitement everyone was co-operative. Coins recovered from the scatter and those from the trench were, for obvious reasons, kept separate.

A JCB was used strictly in the context of removing the upper topsoil in the scattered-coin area for two reasons. Firstly, to recover any additional coins that might sit within the lower topsoil and not been detected, and secondly to ascertain if the concentration of in-situ coins being excavated extended further down the hill. The topsoil was stripped to a depth of about 6 inches in 2 inch increments, observed/supervised/directed at all times by myself. After the last layer was removed, the area was still about 4-5 inches above the subsoil and no further signals were had. This confirmed that the hoard had not only been dragged down the hill and upwards in the ground, as well as the fact that with the slot trench we had opened had come down directly on top of the hoard's original place of deposition.

In the afternoon of the Saturday we were mainly concerned with cleaning up the small trench we had opened and seeing what the coins were sitting on top of. This transpired to be a rubbly chalk surface with lots of bits of tile intermixed. Quite a lot of tile came out of the topsoil, and this seems to indicate that some sort of building was present close to or at the site. By close of play on that day about 80 were exposed, which were clustered in toppled stacks and dribs and drabs across the trench. The site was secured over Saturday night by not only a professional security team, but a tarpaulin/wooden pallets/digger bucket were placed over the trench in order to protect the coins we had exposed.

Most of Sunday was spent (after some trowelling of the chalk surfaces in the morning) by the Oxfordshire FLO and her partner meticulously planning, numbering and removing those coins exposed the previous day. The trench was extended slightly downhill and indicated that the main concentration had petered out. In the afternoon I was on the finds desk so my coverage wasn't great, but about 80 were removed that day and there were more underneath-by the time I had left yesterday, they were planning the third layer of coins. The trench was protected over Sunday night in the same way as the night before, and Anni and her partner are working at the site again today to finish everything up.

Unfortunately the rumour mill goes around and as Terry Pratchett says 'an untruth goes halfway round the world before truth has got its boots on'. People have been saying on social media that there are thousands of coins-this isn't true, it's 12 gold nobles and 400+ pennies (thus far). The possibility is currently being explored that there are actually two hoards, as having a mix of pennies and nobles would be unusual. This is something for the Medieval coin experts to determine. The pennies are mostly English, but there is a fairly high input of Scottish coins, as well as Irish pennies and a few continental sterlings. All appear to be Edward I or Edward II, while the nobles are Edward III. People have also been saying that there is a pot of coins buried in the ground. Again, this is untrue. The scattered nature of the hoard and the fact that very little (if any, from memory) pottery has been recovered either in the topsoil or excavated area suggests that it was probably buried in something organic like a wooden chest or cloth bags. Some of the excavated coins were observed in toppled stacks, so it does seem that they were being held upright by something before agriculture hit the entire lot from multiple directions.

The most frustrating and annoying rumour for me personally is that concerning the JCB: a number of people seem to think it was called in by the finders and dug to a massive depth with the sole purpose of recovering coins from a sealed archaeological context. This is flagrantly false. The uppermost layers of topsoil in this area were removed to allow for recovery of additional coins from lower within the topsoil alongside the desire to identify if the in-situ spread of coins observed uphill extended that far-which would have been characterised by a larger, deeper signal as before. No in-situ archaeological layers or features were dug into by the JCB at all.

Anyway, apologies if I come across as slightly ranty-but I'm dirty, dishevelled and damned if I want to see another Edward I penny again! My body feels like it has been through a mangle and I badly need a bath/some beer/pizza/3 days sleep.
Last edited by Wuntbedruv on Tue Apr 09, 2019 8:21 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Spring Detectival 6-7th April 2019

Post by jcmaloney » Mon Apr 08, 2019 12:46 pm

And they are into Day Three now.

There are some good points to "live media" but it can quickly look like chaos through being small chapters rather than the "whole story".
Last edited by jcmaloney on Mon Apr 08, 2019 1:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Spring Detectival 6-7th April 2019

Post by WVAM » Mon Apr 08, 2019 1:07 pm

Wuntbedruv wrote:
Mon Apr 08, 2019 12:38 pm

Anyway, apologies if I come across as slightly ranty-but I'm dirty, dishevelled and damned if I want to see another Edward I penny again! My body feels like it has been through a mangle and I badly need a bath/some beer/pizza/3 days sleep.
Sounds more like a job well done ::g

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Re: Spring Detectival 6-7th April 2019

Post by Zyrbalax » Mon Apr 08, 2019 3:30 pm

WVAM wrote:
Mon Apr 08, 2019 1:07 pm
Wuntbedruv wrote:
Mon Apr 08, 2019 12:38 pm

Anyway, apologies if I come across as slightly ranty-but I'm dirty, dishevelled and damned if I want to see another Edward I penny again! My body feels like it has been through a mangle and I badly need a bath/some beer/pizza/3 days sleep.
Sounds more like a job well done ::g
I agree, well done, a good example of archaeologists and detectorists co-operating happily to recover and preserve a marvellous find. And thank you for posting such a comprehensive report for our benefit. Well done to you and all the team, wish I'd been there!

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Re: Spring Detectival 6-7th April 2019

Post by Tetra73 » Mon Apr 08, 2019 5:30 pm

Thank you Wuntbedruv for letting us know what really happened instead of the usal fiction that always apears from things like this well done for doing what you did properly ::g

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Re: Spring Detectival 6-7th April 2019

Post by hihosilver » Mon Apr 08, 2019 5:49 pm

Thanks for the write up. Very interesting. ::g
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Re: Spring Detectival 6-7th April 2019

Post by chip » Mon Apr 08, 2019 9:22 pm

Oxgirl36 wrote:
Mon Apr 08, 2019 7:40 am
chip wrote:
Mon Apr 08, 2019 12:16 am
I never made it there this weekend as I have been suffering terrible headaches every day since Thursday.
Kind of gutted really, £60 I am never going to get back and a weekend spent doing nothing rather than detecting.

Really pleased for the lad who found the hoard and hope it ends up in the local museum.
Hope you are OK Chip - that’s more important. Go see your doctor, please :-*
Thanks for your concern oxgirl, I have an appointment with a nurse on Wednesday for something else so I will speak to her then.
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Re: Spring Detectival 6-7th April 2019

Post by Me and my boy » Tue Apr 09, 2019 8:54 am

Oxgirl36 wrote:
Sat Apr 06, 2019 10:33 pm
From the official sources it appears the ‘free for all’ was actually only authorised people. The officials from the event and the family and friends of the finder.

Mark, who organisers the event, is well used to these situations. I know everyone at the event was provided with the official guidelines, supplied by the FLO, on what to do in the event of a hoard find. I wasn’t there but he tweeted last night that official guidelines had been printed to hand out.

Shame the coverage looks chaotic but hopefully the reality was more organised. Certainly the latest tweets imply nothing went missing and everyone was comfortable that the site had and is secure ::g

It’s important the detecting codes are followed in these instances and it appears that actually (to the best of their ability without the FLO being present as he sadly couldn’t attend) it was.

This Almost puts me off detecting, it looked like a chaotic free for all.
Hammered coins being rubbed clean is soil 😩
Digging holes looking like they were going to hit the unknown find.
Dropping fragile silver hammered coins into a bag from a height.
I don’t mean to be negative over such a good and exciting find but it just didn’t look right
And the NCMD were apparently going to be there and they were commenting on a recent silver Roman hoard being excavated with a digger removing the top soil.
This is not how I imagined a scattered hoard recovery being undertaken.

Finally on a more positive note.
Well done to the initial finder of this fantastic hoard. If only it was found on your own or with a good friend and a little more time was taken.
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Re: Spring Detectival 6-7th April 2019

Post by Wuntbedruv » Tue Apr 09, 2019 9:08 am

Me and my boy wrote:
Tue Apr 09, 2019 8:54 am
Oxgirl36 wrote:
Sat Apr 06, 2019 10:33 pm
From the official sources it appears the ‘free for all’ was actually only authorised people. The officials from the event and the family and friends of the finder.

Mark, who organisers the event, is well used to these situations. I know everyone at the event was provided with the official guidelines, supplied by the FLO, on what to do in the event of a hoard find. I wasn’t there but he tweeted last night that official guidelines had been printed to hand out.

Shame the coverage looks chaotic but hopefully the reality was more organised. Certainly the latest tweets imply nothing went missing and everyone was comfortable that the site had and is secure ::g

It’s important the detecting codes are followed in these instances and it appears that actually (to the best of their ability without the FLO being present as he sadly couldn’t attend) it was.

This Almost puts me off detecting, it looked like a chaotic free for all.
Hammered coins being rubbed clean is soil 😩
Digging holes looking like they were going to hit the unknown find.
Dropping fragile silver hammered coins into a bag from a height.
I don’t mean to be negative over such a good and exciting find but it just didn’t look right
And the NCMD were apparently going to be there and they were commenting on a recent silver Roman hoard being excavated with a digger removing the top soil.
This is not how I imagined a scattered hoard recovery being undertaken.

Finally on a more positive note.
Well done to the initial finder of this fantastic hoard. If only it was found on your own or with a good friend and a little more time was taken.

If you have a read of my narrative comment above I hope that might perhaps ease a few of your concerns.

The silver Roman hoard you refer to was not dug in any way similar to this. The JCB in that case dug down to a depth of about 14-16 inches straight into an archaeological context without any archaeologist being present. This, by contrast, was systematic stripping of the topsoil 2 inches at a time under close archaeological supervision.

Also, no offence meant but these were all nicely struck, very solid and thick-flanned coins. Their short descent into finds bags did not cause them any harm. The nobles were, obviously, bagged individually.
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Re: Spring Detectival 6-7th April 2019

Post by littleboot » Tue Apr 09, 2019 10:08 am

Hammered coins being rubbed clean is soil
I'm totally in agreement with this comment in general. I am always seeing people doing this on videos ...they dig up a coin, hold it in a gloved hand covered in gritty earth, and do this odd circular scouring motion to see what it is! Why don't they clean it off with a piece of sandpaper and have done with it. There is one bloke who does videos and is always doing this and then announcing it is a 'disc of nothingness' ...it probably wasn't before he got his mitts on it. There is the other one where he takes the earth encrusted find and rubs it on his jeans ...which quickly get covered in grit and yet he carries on. Its a thoroughly stupid thing to do in any circumstances. I never ever clean my finds in the field. I put them away safely and wash them off at home. Old coins can look sound but have a hair-line crack and shatter.

In the case of this hoard I didn't see much finger-rubbing and it seemed a sensible approach was taken to gently brushing off excess earth with a toothbrush.

What did strike me about this recovery were there were too many people in too close a proximity to be efficient. This was perhaps caused by there being multiple finders of the hoard and each of them being entitled to dig.
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Re: Spring Detectival 6-7th April 2019

Post by Bobcromer » Tue Apr 09, 2019 1:32 pm

wow. Some criticism here. I’ve been many times with this club and can only say how much the organisers and the members care about the finds and the context around them. What we saw was human nature and excitement of finding a hoard. Nothing wrong with that. As far as I can see a great deal of respect has been given to this hoard and believe is still being recovered 3 days after it was found. As for wiping a coin off after it’s found I don’t realy see it’s a massive issue. We are talking about coins that have been in rolling around in the top soil for 700 years and goodness knows what they have gone through in that time, remember the first recovered coins were all scattered by the plough. The deeper original deposits were untouched and lift by the archaeologists.I don’t think wiping a bit of dirt from them will alter the story they may tell. And I’ve never managed to damage a coin doing this myself. Trust me any detectorists that makes a great find will look after it and wouldn’t want to damage it. I just feel some of these views are a bit harsh. If you can’t get exited when you found a hoard then when can you. I suppose you have to ask the question. Are you a treasure hunter or archaeologist. If you own a metal detector I would say you are more likely to be the former. But don’t see why we can’t be both. Detectorists have tremendous knowledge. Don’t mean we can’t get exited. Well done lads loved watching the vids. Can’t wait to read all about it. Wish I was there. 🙌

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Re: Spring Detectival 6-7th April 2019

Post by mrcheeky » Tue Apr 09, 2019 1:42 pm

wow that looks awful definatly not my type of thing all there people bunched up like that . pretty sad

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Re: Spring Detectival 6-7th April 2019

Post by garrettoldboy » Tue Apr 09, 2019 1:54 pm

watch the video by the grim bleeper

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Re: Spring Detectival 6-7th April 2019

Post by Dave The Slave » Tue Apr 09, 2019 2:29 pm

Very detailed reply and report from " Wuntbedruv ". ::g
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Re: Spring Detectival 6-7th April 2019

Post by chip » Tue Apr 09, 2019 2:44 pm

I always thought that in such circumstances, that at the point that a hoard was established that all digging by non professionals would be halted and the area would be cordoned off until a group of professional vegan types wearing cut down jeans turned up either from the local museum or university wielding nothing more than small pointing trowels and tiny 1/2” paint brushes so every aspect could be recorded properly.
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Re: Spring Detectival 6-7th April 2019

Post by Digiffys » Tue Apr 09, 2019 4:13 pm

I firstly thought that it was the searcher mag doing some filming or promo work as there seem to be a few fellars in the red searcher jumpers with Sid there aswell and the detectives van. Also it was only about a 12ft x 12ft area cordoned off. To be honest I think they increased the size about 2 or 3 times as there where people swinging and digging outside the first cordoned off part. Eventually it was bigger than a football pitch and then things started to calm down. It didn't seem a free for all just took a little while to work out exactly how much land to tape off. To me it was done in a pretty decent controlled manner and very well marshalled,they did a great job all weekend to be fair ::g really exciting to witness it all unfold ::g
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Re: Spring Detectival 6-7th April 2019

Post by Me and my boy » Tue Apr 09, 2019 5:07 pm

Ok so I’ve just watched the grim bleepers you tube on it and it’s a lot more reassuring.
Even to the extent that he was allowed to hold the gold Nobel nor was Sid. Also he wasn’t allowed near the hoard site.
Ps anyone know the count so far?
2019 hammies. = 113(including quarters, halves and broken)
Saxon = 1( broken sceatta)
Celtic. = 1
Silver denarius = 4
Gold Roman = 0
Gold ring. = 0
Gold hammered .= 1😀

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Re: Spring Detectival 6-7th April 2019

Post by chip » Tue Apr 09, 2019 5:18 pm

I am very interested to see what happens to these coins, I do hope they end in a museum. If so I wonder how the proceeds will be split. 50% landowner the other 50% split equally between the other finders. This whole scenario has intrigued me does the someone who dug one of the isolated pennies
75 yards away have the same equal claim on the hoard as the person who dug several nobles.

At what point does someone make the call that anyone before this point in time who has dug any of the scattered hoard is considered a legitimate finder but anyone who does so after is merely helping retrieve the coins on behalf of the finders. And what gives them the power to do so.

I realise my above post is missing ?s so I will leave a few here, ??????????
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Re: Spring Detectival 6-7th April 2019

Post by Nectardetector » Tue Apr 09, 2019 5:47 pm

In me club we found Henry 8th groats three people got them they were paid for what they found some got more then others
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Re: Spring Detectival 6-7th April 2019

Post by Oxgirl36 » Tue Apr 09, 2019 6:30 pm

It was made clear by the organisers that all the hoard belonged to the original guy. He called it in and others helped in the retrieval of the rest knowing that it was being done to help, not for a claim.

The reports from this morning (direct from the dig organisers) were that there had been 12 gold nobles and over 400 silver coins retrieved so far, but more silver coins were still being recovered. They were still digging this morning, well the FLO and her team were! x;

The brilliant report from Wuntbedruv above is worth a read. Very glad it confirmed that a professional, organised and properly supervised approach was taken. Personally I have only praise for the event organisers who, before the event started were giving out official PAS advice on what to do if a hoard is found, and followed that through when it was ::g
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Re: Spring Detectival 6-7th April 2019

Post by chip » Tue Apr 09, 2019 6:37 pm

Oxgirl36 wrote:
Tue Apr 09, 2019 6:30 pm
It was made clear by the organisers that all the hoard belonged to the original guy. He called it in and others helped in the retrieval of the rest knowing that it was being done to help, not for a claim.

The reports from this morning (direct from the dig organisers) were that there had been 12 gold nobles and over 400 silver coins retrieved so far, but more silver coins were still being recovered. They were still digging this morning, well the FLO and her team were! x;

The brilliant report from Wuntbedruv above is worth a read. Very glad it confirmed that a professional, organised and properly supervised approach was taken. Personally I have only praise for the event organisers who, before the event started were giving out official PAS advice on what to do if a hoard is found, and followed that through when it was ::g
Did mark have the legal power to say that. Who ever calls it in to him first. (Just being pedantic)
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Re: Spring Detectival 6-7th April 2019

Post by chip » Tue Apr 09, 2019 6:40 pm

Was it in the Ts and Cs of the dig or the law on treasure.
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Re: Spring Detectival 6-7th April 2019

Post by Wuntbedruv » Tue Apr 09, 2019 6:53 pm

Oxgirl36 wrote:
Tue Apr 09, 2019 6:30 pm
It was made clear by the organisers that all the hoard belonged to the original guy. He called it in and others helped in the retrieval of the rest knowing that it was being done to help, not for a claim.

The reports from this morning (direct from the dig organisers) were that there had been 12 gold nobles and over 400 silver coins retrieved so far, but more silver coins were still being recovered. They were still digging this morning, well the FLO and her team were! x;

The brilliant report from Wuntbedruv above is worth a read. Very glad it confirmed that a professional, organised and properly supervised approach was taken. Personally I have only praise for the event organisers who, before the event started were giving out official PAS advice on what to do if a hoard is found, and followed that through when it was ::g
Thank you for your kind words :)

When I got home on Sunday evening I sat at my desk and felt a bit drained. I was worried that I'd done things badly wrong and was kept awake half the night thinking about things I would have done differently in the initial stages. Having seen people's overwhelmingly positive response to the above I do feel much relieved! Part of the reason I wrote it was to get the narrative down while it was fresh in my own mind as an aide memoire to myself when the time comes to write-up the events and pull all the work done over the weekend together (though my input to this will probably be pretty small). However, I also intended it as a means to show the thought process behind certain decisions and demonstrate that the digging/recording of any hoard is a complex beast indeed that cannot be done the same way each time. The benefits of seeking professional help in reference to significant finds such as this are hopefully evident here.

Those who do not follow the Metal Detectives page will perhaps not have seen the news that the last of the coins were lifted by Anni this afternoon (who in all honesty deserves some kind of special reward or medal). No idea of the totals as of yet.
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Re: Spring Detectival 6-7th April 2019

Post by Bobcromer » Tue Apr 09, 2019 7:31 pm

As far as I can see. It was a good job done. A hoard was found. Reported, recorded, recovered. It don’t get better than that. Everyone knew what they where doing. A plan was made. Carried out. And the goal achieved. Well done to everybody involved. 👏👏👏

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Re: Spring Detectival 6-7th April 2019

Post by Me and my boy » Tue Apr 09, 2019 9:00 pm

Wuntbedruv wrote:
Mon Apr 08, 2019 12:38 pm
Oxgirl36 wrote:
Sat Apr 06, 2019 10:33 pm
From the official sources it appears the ‘free for all’ was actually only authorised people. The officials from the event and the family and friends of the finder.

Mark, who organisers the event, is well used to these situations. I know everyone at the event was provided with the official guidelines, supplied by the FLO, on what to do in the event of a hoard find. I wasn’t there but he tweeted last night that official guidelines had been printed to hand out.

Shame the coverage looks chaotic but hopefully the reality was more organised. Certainly the latest tweets imply nothing went missing and everyone was comfortable that the site had and is secure ::g

It’s important the detecting codes are followed in these instances and it appears that actually (to the best of their ability without the FLO being present as he sadly couldn’t attend) it was.

I was working on the finds recording team (I freelance for the Metal Detectives doing their finds reports) when the call came in and arrived on the scene five minutes after the hoard was discovered. As one of two qualified archaeologists on site at that time, me and my colleague took charge with input and advice on procedure from the Oxfordshire FLO via the phone (who arrived a couple of hours later) and took over the process.

The footage does look chaotic but the reality of the situation was that anyone not connected with the hoard was very quickly moved away from the area and a very large perimeter put around the hoard (which was extended twice). Everyone inside the hoard area had permission to be there from the organiser and finders. After the first 30 minutes, things had calmed down a good deal and everything fell into place quite nicely. I will not hesitate to say that it was a stressful and fast-moving situation to begin with, as these things often are. It is a lot to take in.

The hoard was found on ex-cultivated land now left to grass, ploughed to a depth of about 10-12 inches and also variously subsoiled in the past. It became very clear to us quickly that most of the coins were scattered away downhill from the main deposit within the turbated/disturbed topsoil, most under 5 inches deep. I would say that the total scatter encompassed an area of about ten square metres, with a fair few isolated coins as far away as 75 yards from that. The finders had identified a very large signal slightly up the hill from this that was deeper and thus it was decided to open a small 2x1.5 metre slot trench directly over this as it seemed to reflect the remains of the in-situ part of the hoard. Recovery of coins in the scattered patch to the south continued and was quite loud/boisterous (gold is exciting, obviously) but supervised-none of the coins in this area were recovered from an archaeological context, all were well within the topsoil. I was fairly vocal in telling people not to dig any deeper than 7-8 inches so as to keep well away from the layers under the topsoil, and despite the excitement everyone was co-operative. Coins recovered from the scatter and those from the trench were, for obvious reasons, kept separate.

A JCB was used strictly in the context of removing the upper topsoil in the scattered-coin area for two reasons. Firstly, to recover any additional coins that might sit within the lower topsoil and not been detected, and secondly to ascertain if the concentration of in-situ coins being excavated extended further down the hill. The topsoil was stripped to a depth of about 6 inches in 2 inch increments, observed/supervised/directed at all times by myself. After the last layer was removed, the area was still about 4-5 inches above the subsoil and no further signals were had. This confirmed that the hoard had not only been dragged down the hill and upwards in the ground, as well as the fact that with the slot trench we had opened had come down directly on top of the hoard's original place of deposition.

In the afternoon of the Saturday we were mainly concerned with cleaning up the small trench we had opened and seeing what the coins were sitting on top of. This transpired to be a rubbly chalk surface with lots of bits of tile intermixed. Quite a lot of tile came out of the topsoil, and this seems to indicate that some sort of building was present close to or at the site. By close of play on that day about 80 were exposed, which were clustered in toppled stacks and dribs and drabs across the trench. The site was secured over Saturday night by not only a professional security team, but a tarpaulin/wooden pallets/digger bucket were placed over the trench in order to protect the coins we had exposed.

Most of Sunday was spent (after some trowelling of the chalk surfaces in the morning) by the Oxfordshire FLO and her partner meticulously planning, numbering and removing those coins exposed the previous day. The trench was extended slightly downhill and indicated that the main concentration had petered out. In the afternoon I was on the finds desk so my coverage wasn't great, but about 80 were removed that day and there were more underneath-by the time I had left yesterday, they were planning the third layer of coins. The trench was protected over Sunday night in the same way as the night before, and Anni and her partner are working at the site again today to finish everything up.

Unfortunately the rumour mill goes around and as Terry Pratchett says 'an untruth goes halfway round the world before truth has got its boots on'. People have been saying on social media that there are thousands of coins-this isn't true, it's 12 gold nobles and 400+ pennies (thus far). The possibility is currently being explored that there are actually two hoards, as having a mix of pennies and nobles would be unusual. This is something for the Medieval coin experts to determine. The pennies are mostly English, but there is a fairly high input of Scottish coins, as well as Irish pennies and a few continental sterlings. All appear to be Edward I or Edward II, while the nobles are Edward III. People have also been saying that there is a pot of coins buried in the ground. Again, this is untrue. The scattered nature of the hoard and the fact that very little (if any, from memory) pottery has been recovered either in the topsoil or excavated area suggests that it was probably buried in something organic like a wooden chest or cloth bags. Some of the excavated coins were observed in toppled stacks, so it does seem that they were being held upright by something before agriculture hit the entire lot from multiple directions.

The most frustrating and annoying rumour for me personally is that concerning the JCB: a number of people seem to think it was called in by the finders and dug to a massive depth with the sole purpose of recovering coins from a sealed archaeological context. This is flagrantly false. The uppermost layers of topsoil in this area were removed to allow for recovery of additional coins from lower within the topsoil alongside the desire to identify if the in-situ spread of coins observed uphill extended that far-which would have been characterised by a larger, deeper signal as before. No in-situ archaeological layers or features were dug into by the JCB at all.

Anyway, apologies if I come across as slightly ranty-but I'm dirty, dishevelled and damned if I want to see another Edward I penny again! My body feels like it has been through a mangle and I badly need a bath/some beer/pizza/3 days sleep.
I have only just read this well written account of the proceedings and it has put my mind at rest.
I suppose it’s hard to keep tabs on that many people anyway, especially when there’s gold coming out of the ground.
Sounds like it was coordinated well.
Ps hope the beer and pizza were good.
2019 hammies. = 113(including quarters, halves and broken)
Saxon = 1( broken sceatta)
Celtic. = 1
Silver denarius = 4
Gold Roman = 0
Gold ring. = 0
Gold hammered .= 1😀

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Re: Spring Detectival 6-7th April 2019

Post by GeorgeMK » Tue Apr 09, 2019 9:16 pm

Screenshots from Twitter this evening.

FCBF4C70-259F-4244-9D84-960B56018D24.jpeg
C53912E9-05A1-44EA-A6B2-DA980C00F4E0.jpeg
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Re: Spring Detectival 6-7th April 2019

Post by stubble hunter » Tue Apr 16, 2019 8:29 am

Oxgirl,
You deserve 'much credit' and we applaud you =D>

John in Gloucester (who should have been there but for other plans! grrr)
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Re: Spring Detectival 6-7th April 2019

Post by Wuntbedruv » Tue Apr 16, 2019 10:06 am

Just to let everyone know that the coins have been counted by Anni. In total, there are 545 silver pennies and 12 gold nobles.

The Medieval face value of these coins in total comes to £8, 5 shillings and fivepence!

In 1350 this would have had the purchasing power of (broadly speaking): 11 horses, or 22 cows, or c. 413 days of a skilled tradesman's wages,

The modern equivalent of this sum is about £4900.

Hope this is of interest!
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Ordains for each one spot shall prove beloved over all.
Each to his choice, and I rejoice, the lot has fallen to me
In a fair ground—in a fair ground—Yea, Sussex by the sea!

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Re: Spring Detectival 6-7th April 2019

Post by Blackadder43 » Tue Apr 16, 2019 10:19 am

Wuntbedruv wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2019 10:06 am

The Medieval face value of these coins in total comes to £8, 5 shillings and fivepence!

In 1350 this would have had the purchasing power of (broadly speaking): 11 horses, or 22 cows, or c. 413 days of a skilled tradesman's wages,
Hope this is of interest!
That is information i Love to see
To own 11 horses or have a herd of 22 cows would have made you a rich person for sure

We may never know the story of why it was buried there and who by, but it evokes your own imagination to fill in the gaps
Well done all concerned for keeping your heads whilst others were losing theirs
When you are right no one remembers; when you are wrong no one forgets

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