>I am not sure what relevance the type of coin has to the argument but in
>fact they were mainly 1st and 2nd century bronzes which were later
>declared Treasure. The point is that information on the site became
>widely available within a few days over the internet leading to the
This tells me a lot. It's perhaps another example of what I would call a
"Wanborough" incident. Roman bronze finds of the 1st to 2nd centuries are
likely to have a greater commercial value than later bronze finds (on
average). Even the coins, being sestertii, dupondi and asses have a greater
value just based on their size (The semis and quadrans would be smaller,
but have a value based on their scarcity and demand). The vast majority of
Roman coin MD finds are later small coins and the soil has not been kind to
them over the centuries in most of Britain. When a 3mm thick coin consists
of 2mm of copper oxide, most collectors would not bother to bend to pick
one up. If, on the other hand, a 1 cm. thick sestertius of Nero has 2mm of
copper oxide, and the underlying coin is close to mint state, then you have
something worth thousands.
If the web site mentioned the period or the kinds of coins it would likely
attract a large number of nighhawks, but doing so would be rather idiotic
-- just like Wanborough where a couple of detectorists told other people --
limiting their own profit and creating a very damaging "gold rush". If the
web site said anything more than archaeologists are digging at... then you
have an internal security problem. A passer by should not be able to tell
what sorts of coins were being found or the date of the site. It is always
a good plan to ensure that no one blabs about what is being excavated. If
you are excavating a Roman temple and someone happens by, walking their
dog, and asks what the site is, then it would be better to say "a 19th
century slaughter house", or something equally as unappealling. If they see
just a trench and don't know its an archaeological site then you are
>We did fence the site but there is a limit to what you can ask
>volunteers to do in terms of nocturnal guard duties and commercial
>security companies are too expensive.
I don't think that asking for voluntary security help is unreasonable, I
would certainly have lent a hand in that respect.
>The point is that we hadn't expected to be raided so quickly or at all.
>Certainly in Surrey there is a constant backdrop of metal detecting much
>of which goes unreported and over the years this must cumulatively be
>doing tremendous damage to the heritage. All I was trying to say was
>this 'downside' to metal detecting should not be ignored when the
>positive aspects are emphasised.
Well of course Wanborough is also in Surrey. I wonder how Surrey ranks
against Norfolk for voluntary reporting, archaeologists interacting with MD
clubs, responsible MD clubs etc. Does anyone have any knowledge of this?
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