From: Frank Willy
Recent archaeological sites plus news on my rader at present, one good and one bad:
The good one comes from Jersey, where I lived and dug in the 1950s and 1960s. The quickest way to get it up is to Google "Jersey coin hoard". Briefly, two Jerseymen using metal detectors worked on a location for 30 years, where Celtic coins had been found way back. The owner would only let them onto the site for a few hours a year, between harvesting and cultivation, which explains why the discovery took so long. They found a strong signal, using state-of-the-art kit, and unearthed a huge lump of coins, requiring block and tackle to lift and move. The Museum in St helier has been carefully separating out the coins, 38000 so far, perhaps 75000 in total ultimately. As well as coins, there are gold and silver weeks with excellent pictures. The whole discovery will take many years to evaluate fully, as did Sutton Hoo and as will the Staffordshire Hoard. The local museum shows it off well, with assistants working on the coinmass.
The seriously bad example comes from television. A Channel 5 programme called "Nazi War Diggers", or "Battlefield Recovery" (Google will bring up either of them), shows people "excavating" World War Two battlesites in Eastern Europe and the Baltic States. I have not seen the programmes themselves and am following comments from concerned authorities.
The Society of Antiquaries has expressed its great concern and dismay at the programmes screened. Phrases like "appaling standards of work" and "insensitive treatment of human remains" are used in the Antiquaries' comments. Such methods bring the work of archaeologists into "disrepute", and would be illegal in UK. The human remains were treated in a disrespectful and undignified manner, with no apparent attempt to contact living relatives of the fallen. The Society's website www.sal.org.uk/news will probably raise the letter of concern sent to Channel 5; the CBA's website will probably do the same. Channel 5's response is also reproduced.The photographs I have seen bear out the comments about poor and dangerous excavation technique.
From: Jennifer Waters
Youtube has many archaeological videos. Following our speaker on the western section of the Crossrail Archaeology you might like to find out more on what was happening in the central and eastern sections. Included are the Charterhouse Square Black Death burials, Liverpool Street ticket hall down to Roman Levels and Bedlam burials.
Did you know that the United States have their version of Time Team? Since I like prehistory I found 'The Bones of Badger Hole','Topper' and 'Range Creek' particularly interesting.
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