The First Art Newspaper on the Net Established in 1996 United States Sunday, November 23, 2014


British Museum Study Shows Britain is an Amateur Treasure Seeker's Paradise
A Roman erotic knife handle, found in Lincolnshire, central England. REUTERS/Portable Antiquities Scheme.

By: Stefano Ambrogi

LONDON (REUTERS).- Britain is bursting with ancient buried treasure and the masses have been bitten by the bug for digging it up -- ironically with the full approval of the government and leading museums.

Latest figures released by the British Museum on Wednesday showed a "massive" jump in the number of antiquities and spectacular objects classed as treasure being found by ordinary citizens with a passion for history.

In 2010, over 90,000 archaeological objects were reported to museums across the country -- a 36 percent rise on 2009 -- through what is known as the Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS).

The scheme, which experts say is near enough unique to Britain, also allowed 859 separate items of treasure -- loosely defined as objects containing gold and silver, or hoards of ancient coins -- to be lawfully unearthed, a 10 percent increase on last year.

The process ultimately allows glittering objects, of at times enormous historical value, to be saved for the nation, instead of being secretly sold onto private collectors and the illegal antiquities market.

The startling array of objects dug up from farmers fields, or found in one of the country's many rivers, range from prehistoric flints, Roman brooches, Anglo-Saxon strap-ends and medieval coins, right up to a set of post-medieval false teeth.

Highlights displayed at the British Museum include a stash of late Iron Age solid gold coins, called "staters," dating from 15 to 20 AD. The hoard of 840 coins, found by a metal detectorist in southeast England, is highly significant because it represents the largest hoard found in Britain since 1849.

Of equal importance is a unique Roman knife handle depicting a perverted erotic scene involving two males and a female with one of the figures clutching a decapitated head. Only a handful of erotic knife handle designs have ever been found in Britain.

The PAS initiative begun in 1997, which culture minister Ed Vaizey told reporters is "the envy of the world," allows an army of metal detector users in England and Wales to dig for artifacts with the full backing of the law.

As long as the items aren't classed as "treasure" detector enthusiasts, derided by archaeologists in the past for their unscientific practices, are able to keep their haul once the objects are photographed and the find spot revealed.

Michael Lewis, deputy head of PAS, told Reuters the scheme differed markedly from the way in which excavation is regulated in the rest of Europe which he said was "draconian" by comparison. "Detecting is banned in most countries and you certainly can't keep what you find."

Neil MacGgregor, director of the British Museum, which manages the scheme said "what is truly exciting, is that these finds are being made by the public not (in most cases) by archaeologists, transforming the archaeological map of Britain."

Lauding the scheme Vaizey said: It really is incredibly effective...and it works."

(Reporting by Stefano Ambrogi, Editing by Paul Casciato)





Today's News

May 28, 2011

Christie's Latin American Art Sale Establishes Fourteen New World Auction Records

British Museum Study Shows Britain is an Amateur Treasure Seeker's Paradise

Maya Funerary Offering Found by Archaeologists in Cenote Near Chichen Itza

Richard Long, A Pioneer of Land and Conceptual Art, Exhibits at Haunch of Venison

Sotheby's Russian Art Auctions to be Led by Important Group of Paintings by Vereschagin

For the First Time Ever, National Gallery Painting by Van Gogh Comes to Life

After 10 Years, Astronomers Unveil Most Complete 3-D Map of Local Universe

Many Artists at ART HK International Art Fair Revel in Freedom to Support Ai Weiwei

LACMA Presents 32 Images of Elizabeth Taylor in Iran: Photographs by Firooz Zahedi

The MFA Houston Selects Three Architecture Firms to Submit Design Proposals for an Expanded MFAH

Newly Revitalised Learning Spaces Open at Tate Modern Alongside the Turbine Hall

Cooper-Hewitt Announces Winners and Finalists of the 12th Annual National Design Awards

Sotheby's London to Sell Newly Discovered Gustav Mahler's Personal Copy of Third Symphony

Bellevue Arts Museum Honored with 2011 Eastside Business Award

AIA Selects the 2011 Recipients of the Small Project Awards

Unabomber Manifesto Draws $17,500 Bid Online

Some of Last Madoff Items Set for Florida Auction

Argentina Intercepts Mailed Pre-Inca Mummy, Skulls

Sotheby's Latin American Art Sales Total $26.9 million

Blackbeard's Anchor Recovered Off NC Coast

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- Greece holds breath as skeleton found in Alexander the Great-era tomb at Amphipolis

2.- Spain mourns the death of art collector Cayetana Fitz-James Stuart, Duchess of Alba

3.- Meet the ancestors: Exhibition at Bordeaux gallery reveals faces of prehistoric humans

4.- Getty Foundation and partners launch free of charge online art collection catalogues

5.- Historic photos of dead Cuban revolutionary Che Guevara resurface in small Spanish town

6.- Exhibition showcases the first two 'Poesie' created by Titian following their restoration

7.- O'Keeffe painting sells for more than three times the previous world auction record for any female artist

8.- Crystal Bridges announces the departure of museum President Don Bacigalupi

9.- artnet Auctions offers a later example of Yayoi Kusama's important Infinity-Nets series

10.- 'Degenerate art' should go back to museums: German advisor Jutta Limbach



Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 

Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez - Marketing: Carla Gutiérrez
Special Contributor: Liz Gangemi - Special Advisor: Carlos Amador
Contributing Editor: Carolina Farias

Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org theavemaria.org juncodelavega.org facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site