The 18th century gold "Ducate" found by renowned metal detectorist Hannu Martikainen in Finland has been returned to him along with a certificate of it having been scientifically evaluated by the National Board of Antiquities.
The find was assessed as a stray find without clear historical context. The decision is in my opinion a good and solid one and serves to clearify the ongoing discussion here in Finland. One can hope that this will result in more detectorists reporting their detected soins to the authorities in the future.
Once again the talk is about the financial rewards and "value" of metal detected finds here in Finland. According to Finnish law the finder has a
right to receive a reward for his over 100 years old find if the National Board
of Antiquities decide to claim it for their collections. The total amount
reserved for this in Finland is only 5 000 euros per year.
Picture from the BBC series "Detectorists".
Because of this (and quite understandably) the rewards for single finds are often not very high, Usually in the tens of euros for a common medieval silver coin or maybe some 50 euros a gold coin from the beginning of the 18th century that was found in a ploughed field with no historical context (below).
Whats it worth?
My question is why these rewards are paid in the first case? Valuable historical objects from a historical contexts belong to the National Museum, end of question. Donating these kind of finds without compensation should be the rule.
Paying rewards for obvious stray finds (in my opinion) simply constitutes bad economic judgement (even if the general sums are small) and only serves the purpose of yearly debates about the economic "value" of the priceless faint clues into our common heritage.
Today Mr Hannu Hannu Martikainen, one of
the most trustworthy and talented metal detectorists researching the area of S.
Finland stumbled upon, and immediately reported a very interesting iron age find, a fragment of a massive Viking
Age metal bracelet.
Vikng Age bracelet fragmen´t from Porvoo, S. Finland.
The find surfaced in Porvoo S. Finland, in an area very,
very far from the central Viking age dwelling site areas in S. and SW Finland.
The find actually stopped me in my tracks. It s a showcase example of talented detectorist thinking outside the box. Searching not for the obvious, but for the new and surprising.
This is what the bracelet could have looked like AD 800-1000.
From what I can see from the first pictures
the bracelet fragment has been subjected to fire (possibly on a funeral pyre), and
broken intentionally. As such it is possible that the fragment constitute part
of a late iron age (or early medieval period) grave loot possibly ment to be
Of course the fragment could also be part
of an "in situ" Viking Age burial but at the moment we have no proof
of this. The find has been reported to Porvoo Museum and is kept in appropriate conditions.
The group is intended for the participants, archaeologists and historians interested in or directly connected to the upcoming ethitcally and scientifically conducted conflict archaeological excavation of the German WWII transition camp in Hanko S.Finland.
The excavation will take place on weekdays from June 27th to July 15th 2016 it is part of my doctoral dissertation (University of Helsinki dpt. of archaeology) about the German transition camp and the Ukrainian prisoner of war camp that was situated inside it. The excavation is organized in a the form of a conflict archaeology class at Hangö Sommaruniversitet, Finland.
SS Standartenführer Hans Collani shaking hands with Finnish volunteers in the Waffen SS. Deutsches Lager Hanko 11.7.1943.
What a wonderful community archaeology event. Some 20 + participants and we got a lot of work done! Three archaeology students from The University of Helsinki dpt of Archaeology participated too :). Thank You Heureka for supplying us with the facilities and the opportunity to view the 2015 excavations in 3D.
Cleaning in progress. Photo Liisa Tuominen-Roto.
One of the participants came up with the great idea that cleaning excavation finds is actually very meditative and could be used when practising mindfullness and generally promoting well-being :)
Neolithic excavation finds and the cleaning "tools" :) Liisa Tuominen-Roto.
Because of the huge popularity of the event we are planning one more opportunity for the general public to get involved with this part of the archaeological research process.