Posts Tagged With: Treasure Trove

Scottish Treasure Trove found….


‘Magnificent’ Scottish treasure trove unearthed

Treasure troveThe annual Scottish Treasure Trove report details the wide range of items discovered across the country in the past year including a gold ring found in Fife

A wide range of historic and ancient items discovered across Scotland have been catalogued in the annual Treasure Trove report.

They include a Roman wine dipper found in the Borders, a historic brooch from the Highlands, and a gold ring discovered in Midlothian.

The Queen’s and Lord Treasurer’s Remembrancer (QLTR) Catherine Dyer said it had been another “magnificent year”.

She thanked members of the public who had reported their finds.

The latest report covers the period from 1 April 2013 to 31 March 2014.

Wine dipperA Roman wine dipper was discovered near Hawick in the Scottish Borders
Iron Age strap mountAn Iron Age strap mount was discovered at Dunbar in East Lothian
CrucifixA Medieval crucifix was found at Loch Leven

It details matters dealt with by the QLTR and the Scottish Archaeological Finds Allocation Panel (SAFAP).

Under Scots law, it is the prerogative of the Crown to receive “all lost and abandoned property which is not otherwise owned”.

The latest Treasure Trove report includes more than 800 objects discovered by more than 250 “finders”.

They are generally given a small ex gratia payment to recognise their contribution.

The items found included a gold Merovingian coin dating from the 7th Century discovered at Coldstream in the Borders.

Such coins were in use across England, but finding one in Scotland is highly unusual and this was the first of its type to be located north of the border.

Canister shotCulloden was the discovery site of a “canister shot” – a case of lead balls fired from a cannon at close range against charging cavalry
Gold coinA gold Merovingian coin dating back to the 7th Century was found at Coldstream – the tremissis was a coin introduced by the late Roman Empire
Gold ringA 16th Century gold ring was unearthed at Roslin in Midlothian

A Roman wine dipper was discovered at Hawick, while an Iron Age strap mount, which would have decorated the trappings of a horse and chariot, was found at Dunbar in East Lothian.

Other finds included a medieval silver crucifix at Loch Leven in Perth and Kinross, and a 16th Century gold finger ring decorated with white enamel which was discovered at Roslin in Midlothian.

Ms Dyer said: “The report confirms that this has been another magnificent year with some outstanding finds being reported, preserved and displayed in breathtaking museum collections around Scotland.”

Some canister shot from Culloden in the Highlands was also unearthed, as were fragments of a bronze age sword blade found at Dundrennan in Dumfries and Galloway and a Roman brooch located at Charlestown in Fife.

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Metal Detecting…Isle of Man….Bishop’s seal found in field goes on display at museum…



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The medieval seal matrix is thought to date back to the 1300s.

A 14th century Bishop’s seal discovered by metal detector enthusiasts will go on display at the Manx Museum for the first time on Saturday.

The silver seal, which was discovered by Andy Falconer, is described by historians at Manx National Heritage (MNH) as “incredibly significant”.

Curator of archaeology at MNH, Allison Fox, said: “It is a very rare find and an important part of Manx history.”

The find was made in a field in the north of the island.

A ndy Falconer made the “once in a life time discovery” when out searching with fellow treasure hunter Rob Farrer.

The 47-year-old said: “I had no idea what it was at first but when I showed Rob his eyes lit-up.”

Mr Farrer, 59, a metal detectorist for 30 years, said: “I couldn’t believe it. I honestly think it is the most important object to be found in the Isle of Man this century and certainly the only one of its kind.”
The seal itself is about three centimetres in length, made of silver, and shows two figures sitting facing out and a third kneeling in prayer.

Around the edge there is an inscription in Latin, which translates as “Let the prayers to God of Germanus and Patricius help us”.
Ms Fox said: “Saints were very important people for the whole island.
“The Isle of Man has lots of artefacts from the Viking period and a few hundred years after but a find from this period is rare.

“Most of our information for this period comes from manuscripts rather than artefacts.”

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England….amateur metal detectorist find….Leaping dolphin & Lover’s Bust Among Trove of Roman Art



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Amateurs using metal detectors have discovered a trove of Roman artifacts, including a bust possibly depicting a male lover of a Roman emperor, a silver and gold brooch of a leaping dolphin and a penis-shaped animal bone.
The wide array of art, found across Britain, dates back about 1,600 to 2,000 years, when the Romans ruled the island.
This art is among almost 25,000 Roman artifacts (the bulk of them coins) reported in England and Wales in 2011. They were documented as part of the Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS) and published recently in the journal Britannia.
In the journal article, Sally Worrell, a prehistoric and Roman finds adviser with PAS, and John Pearce, a lecturer in archaeology at King’s College London, analyze a small selection of the Roman artifacts.
The leaping dolphin
The silver, gold-gilded dolphin brooch is one of the most unusual examples. Found in Essex County, northeast of London, Worrell told LiveScience in an interview that it is a rare piece. “Something that sort of depicts a three-dimensional dolphin is a bit rare, should we say,” she said. “I certainly had a look at all the publications from this country and I couldn’t really find another one like it.”
Worrell believes the artifact was likely created on the European mainland and brought to Britain in Roman times. “We can’t say if it was worn by a man or woman, it could have been either, but I think it was a special sort of brooch.”
Worrell and her colleagues also describe a finger-ring that British Museum analysis determined was 90- to 93-percent gold. Coincidentally, it was found in Nottinghamshire, the legendary stomping grounds of Robin Hood (he lived long after Roman times).
Incised with decorations, it has a “tiny oval gem” at its center and is so small it was likely worn by a child or woman, Worrell said. It may have been given as a betrothal ring. “It’s a very small but very attractive piece,” she said. “It might have been a symbol of high status if you like.”
How a rich, ancient find like this ended up buried in Nottinghamshire is a mystery. It could simply have been lost. Or, Worrell said, “They might have deposited an object like that as a gift to the gods. We just don’t know.”
Dazzling & alluring
Another new artifact, this one from Northumberland, highlights the colorful enamel work that was carried out on the island around 1,800 years ago. In it, detailed rosettes are shown amid shrinking circles drawn in blue, white and red. It would have decorated the harness of a Roman rider’s horse. “It’s very pretty and it would have looked quite dazzling,” Worrell said.
Even more alluring, arguably, was a copper alloy bust that depicts a bare-chested young man that could be Antinous, the male lover of Emperor Hadrian.
The hollow bust, found near Market Rasen in Lincolnshire, appears to be a furniture fitting, perhaps part of a furniture chest. Researchers can’t be certain that this is Hadrian’s lover but its hairstyle closely matches other statues known of him.
Hadrian ruled between A.D. 117 and 138 and focused on consolidating the Roman Empire. He authorized construction of a system of fortifications in Britain known as Hadrian’s Wall. Homosexuality was not viewed negatively in ancient Rome and the emperor’s affair with Antinous, a Greek man, was not unusual.
However, when Antinous died in Egypt in A.D. 130, while Hadrian was touring the province, the emperor took it very hard. He ordered the deification of his dead lover, and the Antinous cult spread throughout the empire with statues of him being erected and a city, in Egypt, being named after him.
John Pearce told LiveScience that, if the newly found bust is Antinous, it would be only the third example known from Britain. “If it is Antinous, it’s quite interesting because it’s one of the few pieces of evidence that we have for the cult of Antinous extending beyond the Mediterranean.”
Erotic discoveries
A few artifacts show the erotic side of Roman art. The most explicit object is a copper alloy knife handle found in North Yorkshire and showing a man and woman having sex.
“The man lies on a couch and is straddled by a woman who faces his feet, which she holds, while the man’s left hand rests on her left buttock,” write Worrell and Pearce in the journal article.
“It’s not uncommon to find sexually explicit iconography in the Roman household complex generally,” Pearce said in the interview, noting that Pompeii, a city in Italy buried in a volcanic eruption, has explicit murals.
“One theory is that those scenes that show sexual activity have an apotropaic power, because they make you laugh so that wards off the evil eye,” he said. A knife with a handle like this could be carried around, protecting the user. “It’s a kind of insurance policy.”
Another risqué item is a penis carved out of animal bone with two wings on it, a common motif in Roman times, Pearce noted.
Yet another item is a hollow pendent in the shape of a penis, this one made out of gold. The use of the precious metal to make a penis is “probably telling you mostly about the status of the person who commissioned it,” Pearce said.

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Anglo Saxon Gold Hunting with a Metal Detector – What If You Find Some?



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Every metal detector fan in the UK – and possibly the world – could not help but envy Terry Herbert whose hidden treasure find, unveiled to the world in September 2009, was the biggest hoard of Anglo Saxon gold ever found in the UK.
After 18 years of treasure hunting with his metal detector, Herbert uncovered a hoard that contained more than 1,500 individual pieces of seventh century, Anglo Saxon gold and silver. Once the hoard is valued, Herbert and the farmer on whose land the gold was found stand to divide a seven figure sum in reward money.

So Finders Keepers Then?
Not exactly. Technically, all hidden treasure found in the UK belongs to the Queen. So how does that work? What are the rights of the finder and what are his or her legal obligations.
The laws that apply to finding hidden treasure in the UK used to be called “Treasure Trove”. In the mid-1990s the law was slightly changed by the Treasure Act of 1996. The law is different in Scotland, which still uses the older treasure trove common law rules.

Is it Treasure or Treasure Trove?

In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, objects are considered treasure if they are:
at least 300 years old
made of at least 10 per cent of a precious metal – gold or silver – if not prehistoric.
made of precious metal in any amount or part if the object is prehistoric
coins that are least 10 per cent gold or silver. If a coin hoard as a whole does not contain that proportion of precious metal, then at least 10 individual coins must.
The 1996 Act also removed the obligation of proving that the objects were buried and that they were deliberately hidden with the intention of digging them up at a later date.
In Scotland, the Common Law of Treasure Trove is still the law of the land. Any buried hoard or item of archaeological interest, regardless of whether it is made of precious metal, is treasure trove and belongs to the Crown. The law applies to objects found by chance rather than during an archaeological dig.

If You Find Treasure

Throughout the United Kingdom the process is similar, although different authorities and valuing bodies are involved in Scotland. If you find objects that you believe to be treasure, you must report your find the appropriate authority. In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, finds must be reported to the Coroner within 14 days – and failure to do so can get you a £5,000 fine and three months in jail.

What Happens Next?

The coroner holds an inquest to determine if the object is, in fact, treasure. If it is not treasure, it will be returned to the finder, who may keep it – after settling any claims made by the owner of the land on which it was found and any tenant of the land.
If it is treasure, it will be offered to appropriate museums. If no museum chooses to bid on it, the Crown may relinquish its claim and, once again, it is returned to the finder.

And If It Is Treasure?

Once the coroner determines that an item is treasure, a valuation committee, made up of experts in the appropriate fields, determine a market value. In England, valuation takes place at the British Museum and in Wales at the National Museum of Wales. The Department of the Environment for Northern Ireland performs that duty in Northern Ireland, and in Scotland it is the National Museums of Scotland. Museums can then bid on the objects and what they pay is generally awarded as a reward to be shared by the finder, the landowner and the tenant or occupier of the land.
A Reward?

The finder of treasure has no legal right to any payment at all. In Scotland, this is made very clear in the policy on Treasure Trove: “Finders have no ownership rights to any find they make in Scotland and all finds, with the exception of Victorian and 20th century coins, must be reported to the Treasure Trove Unit for assessment.”
Similar wording is used to describe finders rights and entitlements in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

But in practice, the finder and the landowner are almost always awarded the full market value of the object, paid by the museum that acquires the treasure, to share, 50-50. Which is how Mr. Herbert, finder of the Staffordshire Hoard of Anglo Saxon gold, and his friend the farmer, stand to split more than £1 million – maybe a lot more.

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