Thursday, September 24, 2009

Huge Anglo-Saxon (non-word) Hoard!

Everybody's talking about the huge hoard of Anglo-Saxon treasure found in Staffordshire. I was holding off to post a links page, but so many are talking about it, I might not be able to handle the wealth of chatter.

This BBC report is unintentionally hilarious:
Experts say the collection of 1,500 gold and silver pieces, which may date to the 7th Century, is unparalleled in size and worth "a seven figure sum".

Worth a seven figure sum, eh? How about "priceless," instead? It's rather like saying a lost child was found wandering the streets and "experts say his organs might fetch tens of thousands of dollars on the open market."

7 comments:

  1. This sure is a big news item - lots of media coverage.

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  2. The 'priceless' comment struck me, too.

    Now I'm looking forward to the competitions to decipher the previously unknown riddle...

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  3. I've been getting asked about this all day by family and friends. I'm pretty surprised by how much mainstream press attention this find is getting. Maybe it's the metal-detector angle?

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  4. I think the metal-detector angle IS it. The subtext of so many of these stories is, "Hey, you too could find millions of dollars in lost treasure too! If only you had a metal detector!"

    I'd love to see figures on whether or not metal detector sales have gone up in the UK.

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  5. I'm just waiting for an official report, with all the juicy archaeological details. Unfortunately, the media is far more concerned about how many figures it's going to fetch!

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  6. It's not just the metal detector angle. This hoard has to be valued; legally, the finder and landowner are due compensation for the state taking it off them, and so some kind of price does have to be set. So it's not just bottom-end pressure; one of the things that will happen over the next six months as it's studied is that the various agencies involved will have to come up with a figure on behalf of, well, the Crown. It may indeed be priceless, but that won't do for the Treasure Process.

    When the finder appeals for a higher one, though, then your suspicions can be fully justified.

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