The hornbook has been available since the 15th century or earlier, and was perhaps the original teaching aid lasting over 400 years, designed to introduce young children to reading. But it wasn’t really a book at all!

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I blogged about John Brassey, metal detectorist and author, on the occasion of his first novel in 2014. You can read about it HERE.

The good news, three years later, is that John has produced a super second novel entitled  Mr. Prendergast’s Fantastic Find, which is perhaps funnier than the first and of such good quality that I was unable to put it down for long periods. I was literally ‘gripped’ by the story.

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Robert Wechsler

Many detectorists will no doubt view the complex geometric forms made from coins notched and joined together as another kind of oddity. But what artist Robert Wechsler has done is to assemble an incredible assortment of ‘sculptures’ using pound coins, pennies and dimes and also coins from other countries.

 

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Aesica Brooch of the early Roman period – Image courtesy of the UKDFD

Younger detectorists will probably only know Richard Hattatt by a reference to him when they come to record their find on a database, but his contribution to the hobby cannot be underestimated.

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Sixpence by JW

What seem the best ideas for a blog post usually invade my consciousness at about ‘clock in the morning when I am restless and trying to get some sleep. In the cool light of day any thoughts can sometimes turn out to be rubbish. This was a case in point, even though the idea sounded good at the time.

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© JW

Sometimes even the ‘experts’ in the archeological world can be wrong in their assessment of metal objects. Such mis-identifications make one realise that often the person with the real edge on determining the past use of a find is the detectorist with years of experience. The moral of this tale is that we mustn’t take for granted that everyone in the archaeological world (or indeed the hobby) knows everything about everything. If in doubt, seek a second opinion.

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The Mysterious Mask

11 April 2017 — 7 Comments

Early viewers of my blogs will be aware that I lost a lot of posts in a ‘crash’. Whenever possible, I have tried to resurrect some of the better ones, but it doesn’t always work My analytics tell me when somebody is looking for a post that has gone, they are met by the rather depressing message below.

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I have churned the idea around in my head when I’ve been awake and when fitfully sleeping, but I still don’t know how to present this blog post. The idea continues to fascinate, but the structure eludes me. I know it’s going to be a hotchpotch, but I ask that you stick with me as I explore a few possibilities. Continue Reading…