You are currently browsing the daily archive for 17/04/2013.

Smart fundraising
A novel way to let visitors contribute to the care of the country’s most famous chalk giant has been set up by the National Trust. Visitors snapping photos of themselves near the Cerne Abbas Giant with their smartphones will now also be able to text a donation to support his upkeep. 

Charity fundraising in this way is likely to be the next big thing, it seems. Combined with QR codes it could prove to be an unobtrusive and secure way of financing the upkeep of lots of ancient sites. What’s not to like?

“Jaw-dropping & beguiling”
So said Lord Avebury about this aerial video of Silbury. It’s a must-see.″>

The solution to everything!
It seems that after each Glastonbury Festival the organiser Michael Eavis uses 14ft metal detectors to ensure his cows don’t ingest coins and other metal waste. Could British archaeology learn from this? Archaeologists could clear ploughed fields of metallic artefacts using Mr Eavis’s hoovers rather than having to rely on random people with 9 inch coils and uncertain propensities to report. Not just some but all metal finds could be delivered in large sacks direct to the BM where PAS could sort though them.

Cynics in Saville Row suits or cheap Tesco’s army gear who claim this idea is ridiculous could have it slowly explained to them that it’s exactly what they’ve been striving for, but far better. The fields would be emptied of their artefactual content in a far more thorough and speedy fashion than at present and the PAS database would greatly expand and contain much more accurate data – all of which have been the aims of British portable antiquities policy for 15 years.

There would be additional massive benefits as well. 100% not 30% of finds would get reported. Find spot data would be perfectly accurate. No-one would dig into archaeology. No farmer would be hoodwinked. Millions in Treasure payments would be saved. Everything that ought to be in a museum would go to one and everything else could be sold for good causes rather than being annexed for the benefit of individuals. What’s not to like? Oh, and PAS could run telly programmes – “What’s in the Sack?“. They’d be ever so educational.


STOP PRESS: This very morning the pending TV programme “Hoard Hunters” has launched a website. See for yourself what it’s going to be about. Remarkably it has described both itself and the rock-bottom level the public presentation of archaeology has been reduced to in this country in 8 succinct words:

“A sort of Top Gear meets Time Team”


April 2013

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