Robert R aka Edward Thompson:
> Ref. Paul Burford reply.
> Can I ask you do you personally hold any artefacts coins pottery
> anything at all if so how did you come by them.
Name is Barford.
Yes, I read your earlier message on that topic. Apart from material under my
desk on a site which I am still working on which is in stalemate due to a
disagreement with the co-director, I can say that in the room where I write
(which is full of all sorts of non-archaeological bric-a-brac) there are two
artefacts. One is a sheep tibia which I found with a load of post-med and
modern pottery in spoil dredged from a harbour, the local museum accepted
some of the pottery, threw the rest away and did not want the undatable
other finds. I kept the tibia because of the severe pathology which
completely alters its shape. The other artefact is a piece of the badly
corroded original barbed wire from Birkenau concentration camp which was
removed and replaced by new wire on the monument. Leaving aside the
controversial nature of this manner of conservation, I thought it
inappropriate that all of the original wire should end up in a skip either
as landfill or scrap metal. A third artefact is a complete nineteenth
century stoneware bottle which we found on a machined spoilheap in an urban
investigation and was deemed superfluous to the project archive by the
museum (collecting unstratified nineteenth century pottery was not in the
project brief but what was interesting was the completeness of the vessel
vis-a-vis the brutal machining - by the developer - it had survived). I took
it home and gave it to my mum to put flowers in. The fourth artefact is a
sherd in the living room from a rabbit burrow on the above-mentioned site I
was excavating which was picked up by my then three-year old daughter and
brought triuphantly home as a suggestion that she might one day follow her
dad's footsteps into archaeology (fortunately she did not). It also is
totally superfluous to the excavation archive (we have tens of thousands of
similar sherds from well-stratified contexts). If I was to admit to any kind
of collecting activity connected with my interest in archaeology I would
have to admit to being an inveterate collector of archaeology books, a
compulsion which my wife tries to combat with various threats.
I would think that the majority of archaeologists who have artefacts at home
have come by them by the same route, they were found in the course of some
kind of fieldwork but were superfluous to the project archive.
The rest I will answer in a separate post to avoid this getting too long and
to separate the answer to a direct question to me and more general issues