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The phenomenon of buried hoards and the hobbyists scouring the land with metal detectors is specific to Britain - I am not aware of anything comparable on the Continent.

The hobbyists scouring the land may be confined to Britain, but buried hoards are a feature of many countries to some extent.

There's always the minor noble who buried his silverware before fleeing an oncoming army, and whose family never got around to getting back to said silverware (usually because the land it was buried on had changed hands or the family had ceased to exist during the war).

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Nov 26th, 2009 at 06:36:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I guess my claim is that in Britain everyone and their mother buried hoards, not just the odd minor noble here and there.

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 26th, 2009 at 07:00:36 AM EST
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In Sweden, I think viking graves with gold and silver for Valhalla is more common then buried hoards.

Then again, in Sweden using a metal detector to search for buried treasure is forbidden. And if you do find something older hen 100 years you have to hand it in to museums (you get reimbursed with todays value of the metal included in the objects). So treasure hunting is not that common.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Thu Nov 26th, 2009 at 07:39:52 AM EST
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In the UK hoards are the property of the Crown. You get handsomely compensated, but you don't get to keep the items.

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 26th, 2009 at 07:42:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Treasure trove - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Coroners continue to have jurisdiction to inquire into any treasure found in their districts, and into who are or are suspected to be its finders.[48] Anyone finding an object he or she believes or has reasonable grounds to believe is treasure must notify the coroner for the district in which the object is found within 14 days starting from the day after the find or, if later, the day on which the finder first believes or has reason to believe the object is treasure.[49] Not doing so is an offence.[50] Inquests are held without a jury unless the coroner decides otherwise.[51] The coroner must notify the British Museum if his or her district is in England, the Department of the Environment if it is in Northern Ireland, or the National Museum Wales if it is in Wales.[52] The coroner must also take reasonable steps to notify any person who appears may have found the treasure; any person who, at the time it was found, occupied land which it appears may be where the treasure was found;[53] and any other interested persons, including persons involved in the find or having an interest in the land where the treasure was found at that time or since.[54] However, coroners still have no power to make any legal determination as to whether the finder, landowner or occupier of the land has title to the treasure. The courts have to resolve that issue, and may also review coroners' decisions in relation to treasure.[55][33]

When treasure has vested in the Crown and is to be transferred to a museum, the Secretary of State is required to determine whether a reward should be paid by the museum before the transfer[56] to the finder or any other person involved in the finding of the treasure, the occupier of the land at the time of the find, or any person who had an interest in the land at the time of the find or has had such an interest at any time since then.[57] If the Secretary of State determines that a reward should be paid, he or she must also determine the market value of the treasure (assisted by the Treasure Valuation Committee),[58] the amount of the reward (which cannot exceed the market value), to whom the reward should be paid and, if more than one person should be paid, how much each person should receive.[59][33]

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Nov 30th, 2009 at 08:10:55 AM EST
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Such a "The phenomenon of buried hoards and the hobbyists scouring the land" occurred in the USA in the 1820s & '30s--sans electronic metal detectors. Perhaps it was fed in part by the knowledge that the Cherokee had a gold mine in northern Georgia, the proceeds from which they used to finance their legal contest of Andrew Jackson's Indian removal policies to the U.S. Supreme Court.

But there is also the story of Joseph Smith and the Angel Moroni who he described as first appearing to him in 1823 and telling him of the gold tablets buried on Hill Cumorah, providentially located adjacent to the Smith family farm in upstate New York. Smith describes retrieving the tablets in 1827 along with the Urim and Thummim, Old Testament stones for divination. As rumors spread, this likely added to the number of those "scouring the land."

Word of the discovery of gold at Sutter's Mill in California turned the quest into one purely for naturally occurring precious metals, which, when found, had the effect of spurring the expeditious admission of California as a state to the United States in 1850 and Nevada in 1864. From then until the end of the century there was, essentially, free land and free money for those who could find it and claim it.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Nov 26th, 2009 at 12:41:31 PM EST
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