The Somerset County Museum will close to the public on Saturday 19th April at 5pm for a Heritage Lottery Funded restoration and refurbishment.
Naomi Payne, Finds Liaison Officer for Somerset, will still be able to take in and return finds for identification and recording at the Museum on weekdays until August 2008. It is advisable to phone ahead to make sure she will be in the office when you wish to visit. Naomi’s direct dial telephone number is 01823 320206 and the Museum office telephone number is 01823 320200.
Naomi will be moving to the Record Office in Obridge Road, Taunton, in August 2008 and will be based there until new purpose built offices at Silk Mills are opened.
The Museum is due to reopen as the Museum of Somerset in August 2010.
Ciorstaidh and i went to the Minelab owners rally at Corfe Castle (Dorset) last weekend. The rally has taken place over a weekend in September for several years now and there have been some very interesting discoveries. Two of these, a Roman patera (a copper alloy cooking vessel resembling a modern saucepan) and a hoard of late Iron Age staters, prompted the finders to get in touch with the Dorset County Museum and subsequently the Norden Archaeological Project was set up by Peter Woodward, the museum’s curator of archaeology. Survey and small scale excavation have been undertaken by the Dorset County Museum and Terrain Archaeology in order to put the finds into context and discover more about how they came to be where they were found.
This year, two fields were examined in detail by the archaeological project. Fieldwalking was organised concurrently with the metal detecting rally and a structured detecting survey took place. All the discoveries in two fields were marked by the detectorists on the rally and then each find was given a number and the findspot recorded with a total station or a hand-held GPS. All these finds will go to the Dorset County Museum. Several other fields were also detected by the c. 70 Minelab owners who attended the rally and about 100 finds were recorded by PAS and David Connelly, who used a hand-held GPS to pinpoint findspots.
About 75 of these finds will go onto the PAS database; the remainder were post-1700. Finds recorded in detail included medieval hammered coins, post-medieval tokens, a small number of Roman coins and one Roman brooch.
I have recently arranged to hold a new monthly finds event at Wells Museum which will take place on the first Wednesday of each month, between 11am and 3pm. Finds can be brought in for identification and recording on the day, or you can come in anytime the museum is open and drop in items for me to look at the next time come in. Hopefully I’ll be able to reach more of the detectorists from the eastern part of the county, but of course anyone with archaeological finds (metalwork, pottery, worked flint etc) is very welcome to come along. The first surgery will be on Wednesday 3rd October 2007.
Opening times and other information about Wells Museum can be found at: http://www.wellsmuseum.org.uk/