Monday, 27 March 2017

Bode Coin Thieves Went for Bling, not History

The huge Canadian million-dollar coin that was stolen from the Bode Museum in Berlin last night was just next to their portrait denier of Charlemagne and an important Valentinianus/Valens gold medallion, and quite a few other coins, seal matrices, and medallions whose value is not in their bullion. These were not taken. 

Saturday, 25 March 2017

2017 ECMD Conference Artefact hunting rally

2017 ECMD Confernence combined with Commercial Artefact Taking Rally

The European Council for Metal Detecting is going to hold a conference in Norfolk in September, 'the 3 day event will combine detecting and debate':

Friday 22nd September 2017Detecting all day for MDF members and local clubs.ECMD delegates at Conference at the Castle Museum for most of the day.Saturday 23rdDetecting all day for allSunday 24thDetecting all day for MDF members and local clubsECMD delegates detecting up to 10.30am, Conference to 1pm, then detecting afterwards. Land should be very good, hopefully a lot of it and undetected, but cannot promise on that. I am working on a minimum of one acre per person. Day 1 might have around 80 acres, Day 2 that same land PLUS another 80 acres, Day 3, all that land PLUS another 80 acres. So something fresh for each day. [...] Location- "somewhere in Norfolk" [...] Hotels and other accommodation info will be published for our overseas visitors from Bulgaria, Italy, Poland, Sweden, Norway, Belgium, France, Denmark, Croatia, Spain, Ireland, Jersey etc. Nearer the time if there are any local detectorists who may be able to help out with accommodation, then that will help. I am sure the gesture will be reciprocal. The proceeds from the detecting will help to finance the work of the ECMD throughout Europe to look after our hobby and create a European Detecting Community. This is an ideal opportunity to meet new friends and perhaps plan some overseas detecting later on. The ECMD Conference will have some guest speakers, perhaps Michael Lewis of the Portable Antiquities Scheme who will explain how the PAS has been so successful throughout Europe
Yeah? And if he does show his face again at such an event, are any archaeologists going along to ask him a few pertinent questions in public?  

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Reasons to Doubt: Misleading Assertions in the London Antiquities Market

Tsirogiannis, C. (2016), ‘Reasons to Doubt: Misleading Assertions in the London Antiquities Market’, Journal of Art Crime. Spring. 67–72.
Over the last few years of media reporting on my identifications of looted antiquities in the market, the commentary has become more and more predictable; I am quotes and so is a spokesperson from Christie’s, whenever that auction house is found to be selling antiquities depicted in the photographic archives confiscated from convicted dealers. It is time to examine those positions and comments more closely.

Arrr, Gittink Deeper on Pasture: Grubbing out Orl the Goodies!!

"every single weekend I will hit it",

Reading the 'Code of Practice for Responsible Artefact Hunting is not something many artefact hunters n Britain' do with any understanding. Probably the shorter sentences of the "close the gates and fill in yer 'oles" NCMD one is the most these poor lost souls can manage. Here's one who's not internalised what is considered best practice (on a metal detecting forum near you,  CLEAN_SKRUB » Mon Mar 20, 2017 11:03 pm)
If this is the shallow stuff, what lies deeper in the unploughed
site? Those who claim that the Heritage Action Artefact
Erosion Counter is 'wrong' need to look at the implications
of photos like this showing what one tekkie can take
out of the archaeological record in just one day.
I've acquired a very very large pasture field, and a little bit of ploughed land north of it, the field is of extreme importance, and i know there must be a fair bit under it, but with me not being used to the deus i'm sure i'm not getting its full potential. I was running on program 2 i think its deus fast, found a few silver buttons but nothing too deep. =P~ I'm sure there has to be hammered in this field and it hasnt been ploughed in a hell of a long time, [...] Anyhow i tried using the new deep setting but i cant understand it at all :S it feels like using pinpoint constantly... i don't understand the way it displays and how loud it is. My main question really is can anyone link me with some valuble material, that will help me get the max depth i need in this pasture field? i know its all going to be a learning curve but i'm game for it, i never give up on a field and i know there has to be something in it due to the location. Anyhow here are the pictures of what i found on the field the other day ::g :D From the pictures below i found the two big silver buttons in the field, the big buckle and leather, and the two iron objects im unsure what they are, both of them i found together, all the other objects lead etc... i found in the little bit of ploughed north of the field of interest.
I'd be interested in hearing some comments from the archaeologists in Britain who support artefact hunting. Come on guys, tell us what you think on reading that sort of thing. Why leave it up to your critics to have the monopoly on things to say?

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Tossers, Crackpots, Conspiracy Theorists and Dealers Attempt to Instruct the CPAC

Find out what the Trumpland public said about CulturalProperty MOUs with Belize, Guatemala and Mali:
Two on Belize, three on Mali and five on Guatemala.

There being no ancient coins involved, we get a cross section of substantive comments from people who know rather than the cut-and-past knee-jerks. But there is always one, isn't there?
It is my understanding that in the upcoming renewal of the MOU with Guatemala there may be mention of imposing import restrictions on coins minted in Guatemala during the Spanish Colonial and early Republican period. I believe that this action is unwarranted and inappropriate for the following reasons:
1. These coins were minted in large quantities on machines with designs mandated by the Spanish or other governing authorities not exclusive to Guatemala. These facts remove them from consideration as archaeological or ethnological objects.
2. They were minted in quantities much larger than needed for local circulation and in the cases of Spanish Colonial (1733-1821) and Central American Republic issues were used and recognized as international trade coins. The Spanish Colonial issues circulated on every inhabited continent in the world. Far more of these coins left Guatemala in world trade than remained at home to circulate.
3. As further examples of the truly international nature of this coinage it must be pointed out that Guatemalan minted coinage was considered by law as legal tender in the United States from 1775 until 1857.
4. Guatemalan minted coinage flowed to Asia freely on the Manila Galleon trade until 1815 and then on private merchant trading vessels for many years thereafter. To this day coins bearing the Guatemalan mint marks appear from coin lots in the Orient. Some even bear "chop marks" which attest to having circulated in Asia for more than a hundred years. In addition early Republican issues of the Central American Republic are frequently encountered with Philippine countermarks which were applied by Spanish authorities 1832-1837. The countermarks allowed the coins to pass as legal tender in the Philippines. This example further validates these coins status as International trade money. Thank you for your consideration of my input in this matter.
Mike Dunigan
Mike Dunigan is, of course, a dealer in 'rare coins' from Texas. The origin of this lunacy is not far to seek:
Thank you for this opportunity to comment on the proposed renewal of the MOU with Guatemala. There has been "chatter" about an effort to extend import restrictions to Spanish colonial and early republican era coins of Guatemala and other South and Central American countries. Any such effort should be rejected for the simple reason that such coins are not typically archaeological objects as defined under the CPIA. Nor do they meet the definition of ethnographic artifacts found in that statute. Such coins were produced on a massive scale with similar designs and identical weight standards with coins issued in Spain and other South American countries. These coins were widely used in international commerce. Indeed, the terms "piece of eight" and "two bits" came into our language because such coins were legal tender in the United States until 1857. They refer to the "Spanish dollar" of Eight Reales, two parts of which were equivalent to 25 cents. Surely, Guatemala's national patrimony is not endangered by the pillage of such coins that circulated extensively not only in the Americas but far beyond in the Far East. In addition, there is no concerted international response of other market nations restricting these coins. Finally, restriction would hurt appreciation of Guatemalan culture not only by Americans, but immigrants from Guatemala and other Latin American countries as well. Let me also comment about less drastic remedies that should be considered before renewing restrictions. Looting is best addressed at the source. Two obvious ways to do so are to require American archaeologists to pay their workers a fair living wage and put into place security measures in place for the long off season. As obvious as these measures may be, they have never been made requirements of any MOU as far as I know. Thank you for your consideration of my views.
Peter Tompa
What a tosser. It is interesting that only one dimwit coin fondler was taken in by this gratuitously-generated 'chatter'. And then there is this:
This is the proof that the US is being gripped by the politically motivated (read, anti-US) agitators working for the the political extreme Left wing of the Heritage circus to the detriment of US citizens. By allowing this bunkum, the US deserves all that's thundering down the track towards them.
John Howland
The nature of this 'proof' is not elucidated upon by this apparently intoxicated and deluded 'Make America Great Again' conspiracy theorist. I disagree, America does not deserve the redneck president Donald Trump.

Vignette: Guatemala coin

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

US Indiscriminate antiquities Trade with Turkey and Egypt Worth Lots

This stolen or looted mummy hand, dating to the eighth century B.C.,
was brought into the United States from Egypt.
Credit: John Denmark/U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
About $50 million worth of artefacts and antiques were shipped from both Egypt and Turkey to the United States in 2016 — the highest annual value from each of those countries in at least 20 years, according to U.S. Census Bureau documents. The artifacts, totaling about $100 million between the two countries, were imported "for consumption" and not for temporary display in a museum, the documents say (Owen Jarus, '$100 Million in Artifacts Shipped from Egypt and Turkey to US in 2016' Live Science March 21, 2017).
Most of the artifacts were shipped to New York City, where numerous antiquities dealers, auction houses and art galleries are based. It can be difficult to determine whether a shipment of artifacts was recently looted, law-enforcement officials told Live Science.
In addition, the actual resale value of the shipments may be higher, because the values seen in the documents are simply those that importers declared, a spokesperson for U.S. Customs and Border Protection said. Audits are occasionally conducted on shipments, but the spokesperson declined to say how often they occur. [See Photos of the Artifacts from Egypt and Turkey]
The article details more slimeball trade in human body parts. Trump's America or not, portableised pieces of human corpseshave no place in private 'ancient art' collections. These dealers and the lobbyists who support them need locking up.

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Screwdriver Attack on Gainsborough Painting at National Gallery

Since he lived and worked near where I spent a large part of my early life, I have a rather personal interest in Thos Gainsborough's works (). Let the screwdriver heritage hooligan hope his paths never cross mine (update: named as Keith Gregory, 63, of no fixed abode).

Vignette: the conundrum of providing free access to art
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