Metal Detectorist Makes Stunning Recovery
Relic hunters and metal detectorists continue to contribute to our understanding of history with their stunning recoveries and preservationist efforts. Here's the latest example from The Daily Mail:
An amateur metal detectorist has unearthed a gold hat pin worth £15,000 that may have belonged to King Edward IV, who reigned during the 15th century. Lisa Grace, 42, spotted the Medieval jewel, which is in pristine condition, while searching a recently-ploughed field in Lincolnshire. It is believed the pin is linked to royalty as Edward IV and his circle wore strikingly similar pieces during his two reigns as King from 1460 until his death in 1483. Experts believe that the jewel was made in the late 15th century and is designed as a sun in splendour - the personal emblem of Edward IV.
Read more about this amazing discovery here. I've written a piece for American Digger Magazine which goes into some detail how relic hunters, collectors and amateur archeologists are responsible for much of our knowledge regarding American history. This is especially true when it comes to Civil War accoutrements. Even the Smithsonian Institute has recognized the contributions of relic hunters:
Without amateur souvenir collectors and relic hunters, the Smithsonian Institution might never have become the renowned network of museums that it is today. “You really can’t have a national museum,” says Bird, “until you have a nation of people collecting things, people who at least have that concept in their head—the collecting ideal. As low-tech and modest as some of these objects may be, they’re stand-ins for this larger purpose of national memory.” So what makes a good souvenir? According to Bird, each one is a “little bit of memory” that’s physically transportable. “Once you have it,” Bird says, “you can figuratively transport yourself back to that moment in time.” ~ Smithsonian curator William L. Bird
The AD piece is supposed to be published by year's end.