Friday, June 17, 2016

6/17/16 Report - Increasing Antiquities Research and Knowledge: A Case Study. Open Access Movement. Lifetime Achievement Award To T C. Salvor.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Mel Fisher Days will be held July 15 and 16th this year in Key West.  The Mel Fisher Lifetime Achievement Award will be awarded to John Brandon. Congratulations John!


In the Feb 3, 2011 CoinWeek there was an interesting article bearing the title Dancing with the Universe – The Infamous Wanborough Hoard of Atrebates Coins, a reprint from Wayne Sayles' Blog Ancient Coin Collecting.

Not long ago I expressed my pleasure that so many privately held cobs were available for study.  You can see many of those cobs, complete with photos and detailed descriptions in auction catalogs or on online retail sites.  As you know, I also receive pictures of finds, many from Treasure Coast salvors, that I post in this blog for all of you to see.

The Wanborough Hoard provides a very interesting case study and illustrates how private ownership of ancient coins can stimulate study and promote dispersal of information about those coins.

I will now post a few excerpts from the CoinWeek article.

The Wanborough hoard, at least the parts of it that got away, went around the world and worked their magic. People started buying metal detectors to find even more, and what do you know? They did! The little coins inspired me and many more, Some of us started to collect and write about them. The literature and the research ballooned. Before all of that there were only a few people working on this stuff — Sir John Evans in the nineteenth century, then much later, Commander Mack, and the very great Derek Allen who was a friend of two friends of mine, a smallish assortment of lesser known scholars and a few collectors who could wait for the occasional British Celtic coin to show up at Seaby’s...

Wanborough was our salvation. The commodification of Celtic coins eventually created even conferences about the things!...

So what would have happened if the restrictions preceded the hoard? The site would have been excavated and the report, if it was ever published, might have been read by a few inhabitants of boxes, but two weeks later, the world would have forgotten about it and the hoard, itself, would be in its own box in the bowels of the British Museum, soon to be forgotten. A few might have gone on display as entertainment, or something to look at before the rain stopped.

Don’t believe me? I have worked at a museum. Get permission to randomly look in their storage cabinets and boxes to see what you might find. It will amaze you to see what has been forgotten and is sitting in boxes while the universe dances on...

Analyze the dates and their frequency, plot it out and compare it to metal detector use. People found coins, they asked about them, Those they asked started to look more and write. Some of the collectors turned to scholars and wrote more...
Some academics see commodification as a bad thing. A few of them look at coin dealers as maggots, but without maggots, dust mites, and dung beetles we would soon be buried in our own muck. They do not know that many of these coin dealers and collectors sometimes make amazing discoveries — they are dancing with the universe. Even more of them are inspiring others to take to the floor.

Here is the link if you want to read more of that CoinWeek article.

For a great post on the same subject, you can use the following link provided to me by James F.

I am very much of the belief that disciplines advance more when the public is informed and allowed to participate.  The phrase that has been on my mind is "great cloud of witnesses." When information is made public and the public gets to see the existing objects and evidence, more discoveries will be made. It also results in greater accountability.

I am big fan of Open Access, which helps scholarly publishing achieve its purpose: spreading knowledge and allowing that knowledge to be built upon. Price barriers should not prevent the public from getting access to research.

The Right To Research, an organization promoting Open Access, says, "Open Access, and the open availability and searchability of scholarly research that it entails, will have a significant positive impact on everything from education to the practice of medicine to the ability of entrepreneurs to innovate."

Here is the link to the Right To Research web site.


And here are a couple more excerpts from the Right To Research web site that describes the benefits of Open Access.

Return on our investment: making research publicly available as soon as possible will allow other researchers to build on new ideas as soon as they are published, while in the current system these ideas might remained locked away and unable to advance to state of the field. To have the greatest possible impact, the research we fund as taxpayers must be made available to the largest possible audience to make use of and build upon new ideas.

Exercising our right to research: as taxpayers who pay for much of the research published in journals, we have a collective right to access the information resulting from our investment.


Sotheby's spring sale of Fine Books and Manuscripts achieved a total of $2.67 million. An autograph leaf of the manuscript of Origin of Species led the sale and sold for $250,000. Also notable was a fine and bright copy of Cendrars and Delaunay's Prose du Transsiberien, which sold for $225,000.

Click here to view the catalog with realized prices.


On the Treasure Coast, the surf will be flat Friday and Saturday, but start to increase Sunday.  The projected peak surf will be about 7 feet on Monday.  It has been a while since we had much of anything to move the beach sand.

Happy hunting,