FROM THE MALAMUTE SALOON
News to gladden the hearts of all treasure hunters.
Lee Rossiter who discovered the so-called Hammerton Ring – a 15th century Tudor gold ring – with his metal detector near Harrogate, Yorkshire, in April 2015, has sold it to for a hefty undisclosed sum in a private sale to a firm of Mayfair, London, dealers.
The ring, a double-bezel chased finger ring, is set with an emerald and a ruby and is engraved in the medieval French style. Mr Rossiter correctly reported his find to the appropriate authorities in accordance with the prevailing Treasure Act whereupon it was declared ‘treasure’ under the Act. It was later returned to him. The money raised from the sale is being shared with the landowner.
British Academy Honours PAS Founder
A Press Release from the University of Leicester informs that Professor Roger Bland OBE, a former British Museum Keeper, has been working with the University’s School of Archaeology and Ancient History, contributing to research involving coin hoards, such as the Hallaton Treasure – a collection of more than 5,000 silver and gold Iron Age coins found in Leicestershire.
But it was for his work establishing a hugely successful online database for archaeologists and others to share information about new finds which secured him the British Academy’s President’s Medal – awarded annually for “outstanding academic-related activity”.
The citation from the Academy outlined the reasons why he had been chosen.
It said: “This award is for Roger Bland’s contribution to the protection, and academic and public understanding, of Britain’s cultural heritage…”
The Portable Antiques Network scheme comprises a website – www.finds.org.uk – and an archaeological database, supported by a nationwide network of finds liaison officers who identify artefacts brought in by the public. The work is funded by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport through the British Museum and a range of local agencies.
Since its launch in 1997, it has amassed information about some 1.2 million objects in England and Wales, recorded by 45 dedicated archaeologists, as well as members of the public.
“It has proved to be a very rich resource for archaeological research,” said Prof Bland. “The website details more than 500 academic projects, which are using the data.”
The President’s Medal will be presented to Prof Bland on Tuesday 27 September, at the British Academy headquarters, in St James’s, London.
Previous winners include the former Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams, in 2013, and broadcaster Clive James, in 2014, in recognition of major contributions to Britain’s cultural life.
“I am humbled to have been honoured with this prestigious award,” Prof Bland said, “Mainly because it recognises the success of the Portable Antiquities Scheme in harnessing the efforts of amateur searchers for archaeological objects who use metal detectors in transforming our knowledge of our archaeological heritage.”
However, over on the vile PACHI blog, the brainchild of our old pal, Paul Barford, the Warsaw-based English language teacher who likes to be known (according to his blog) as an ‘archaeologist,’ is less than thrilled at Prof Bland’s magnificent award. In a bitter remark, the undistinguished Barford, comments on Prof Bland’s statement, “Well, that is a falsehood for a start,” as the preface to one of his usual bitchy, abusive, slurs on the Portable Antiquities Scheme and on anyone else who follows the metal detecting hobby.
Whilst the metal detecting community congratulates Prof Bland’s significant award and recognition; there’s no fury, it seems, like an undistinguished language teacher scorned.
On the seventh day He went treasure hunting….
I’ll see y’all in the bar!