Tuesday 16 March 2010

The Merchants opinion on the Commerce of Antiquities

Collectors and Archaeologists Find Common Ground on Cultural Property Management at Newcastle, U.K. Conference

GAINESVILLE, Mo., March 16 /PRNewswire/ -- On 13th March, Wayne G. Sayles, the executive director of the Ancient Coin Collectors Guild (ACCG) gave a PowerPoint presentation at Newcastle outlining the 61-page paper, "Coin Collectors and Cultural Property Nationalism." The paper, covering cultural property history, law and philosophy, was a collaborative ACCG effort prepared in response to the event:


The two-day conference, "Portable Antiquities: Archaeology, Collecting, Metal Detecting" was organized by the Council for British Archaeology (CBA) and the International Centre for Cultural and Heritage Studies (ICCHS). It was held at the University of Newcastle and at the Great North Museum.

In their announcement for the event, the CBA said:

"Papers will address recent research, new initiatives and ultimately discuss what the future holds for portable antiquity management and protection in the UK and further afield. Speakers include individuals from archaeological, collecting, metal detecting and law backgrounds." See:


The ACCG endorses much of the British system for handling finds of portable antiquities, especially the Treasure Act and the Portable Antiquities Scheme for England and Wales (Scotland and the Isle of Man having their own laws on the subject). The Guild maintains that a spirit of friendly cooperation between professional and amateur archaeologists, numismatists, metal detectorists, independent scholars and the public in general is the best way forward and it condemns the increasingly draconian cultural property laws of some countries as being both unworkable and backward-thinking.

The ACCG supports the U.S.-based Ancient Coins for Education (ACE) projects:

http://ancientcoinsforeducation.org/ and has also set up a fund for small museums in England and Wales who wish to purchase local ancient coin finds to be able to do so under the terms of the Treasure Act when they are not eligible for other grants:


The Newcastle conference might well be characterized as the construction of a fresh bridge between archaeologists, museums, metal detectorists and collectors. Two days of hearing and discussing weighty cultural property issues, in a friendly and meaningful way, left the participants with broader perspectives and a genuine interest in moving forward.

A link to a fuller summary of the conference will soon appear at:


Sources: Ancient Coin Collectors Guild via PRNewswire
Predictably the ACCGs paper is a poor collection of sofist trics that try to stick the lable of "Nationalist" (sic!!) on anyone who does not agree to allow them a free hand in exporting antiquities...I may return to this at a later date when I have a moment, but I am sure that anyone reading the text can see for himself the leaps of logic required to follow its reasoning...

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