Town to pilot historical record scheme
Caistor is to become a county pilot for a scheme to document historic finds.
The Portable Antiquities Scheme has set up a national database recording archaeological objects that have been found in gardens and fields. The database is aimed at helping to identify what the objects are, their age, and the date and location of the finds.
The scheme is operated by the British Museum, which part-funds a Finds Officer for each county in the UK.
Lincolnshire Finds Officer Adam Daubney, pictured above, will be holding weekly open sessions on Wednesdays at Caistor’s Arts and Heritage Centre between 10am and 4pm.
The idea behind Mr Daubney’s visits is to help train volunteers to enter information into the database, and to encourage people to come forward with objects of interest that they have found locally.
“Lincolnshire is very rich in archaeological finds,” said Mr Daubney. “So many, in fact, that we cannot keep up with the volume, so we are looking to set up recording centres across Lincolnshire. We will look to see how things go in Caistor first before expanding across the county.”
Since 1997, there have been 75,000 finds in Lincolnsire, compared with just over one million nationwide, he added.
Mr Daubney, who is from Lincoln, became the County Finds Officer in 2003. He was overjoyed to get the position in his home county.
“Lincolnshire is one of the most prolific counties for finds both in terms of quality and quantity,” he said.
Mr Daubney stressed the service was not looking to value any objects, because of concerns about ‘trophy hunting’ and possible ‘erosion of the county record’.
“We are looking for contextual information,” he said. “It is the recording which is important. When people seek objects with a financial motive and don’t record things, it is knowledge theft.
“We have been working with the police to get the message out it is not a victimless crime. The victims are essentially everyone. What should be public knowledge is essentially stolen.”
When the Citizen called in at the centre yesterday (Wednesday, November 11, 2015), Mr Daubney was showing volunteer Peter Wheatley how to document some finds on the database.
One item was a boot-shaped pipe tamper, made of copper alloy, thought to date back to the late 18th Century, or early 19th Century. It was found in Welton earlier this year.
The other was a Roman nail cleaner (lead picture). It was an exciting find, as it was also discovered in Welton, which was not previously known for any Roman connections, said Mr Daubney.
“Between 60 and 70% of finds come from sites that we didn’t know about,” he added.
Anyone interested in knowing more about an object they have found is welcome to take it to the centre on Wednesdays. More volunteers are also being sought.