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MCG Spring meeting presentation: The Staffordshire Hoard
 

MCG Spring meeting presentation: The Staffordshire Hoard

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The Staffordshire Hoard was uncovered in July 2009 and was launched publicly on the 24th September with a hastily assembled website. This paper tells the story.

The Staffordshire Hoard was uncovered in July 2009 and was launched publicly on the 24th September with a hastily assembled website. This paper tells the story.

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    MCG Spring meeting presentation: The Staffordshire Hoard MCG Spring meeting presentation: The Staffordshire Hoard Presentation Transcript

    • The Staffordshire Hoard
      Daniel Pett
      dpett@britishmuseum.org
    • Nothing could have prepared me {…} I saw boxes full of gold, items exhibiting the very finest Anglo-Saxon workmanship. – Duncan Slarke
    • The Hoard
    • ......for one warrior stripped the other, looted Ongentheow's iron mail-coat, his hard sword-hilt, his helmet too, and carried graith to King Hygelac; he accepted the prize, promised fairly that reward would come, and kept his word. .... they let the ground keep that ancestral treasure, gold under gravel, gone to earth, as useless to men now as it ever was. ~ Beowulf (Heaney)
    • £3,285,000
      Split 50:50 between landowner and finder (after being declared Treasure, and a Midlands Museum was identified as acquirer)
    • £50 - £100
      Split 50:50 between landowner and finder (after being declared Treasure, and an acquiring museum is found)
      Normally, Treasure comes in at around
    • Web development
      1 week before inquest
      Very loose brief provided by Staffs CC
      Black!!
      White writing
      Set of photos provided from Dan Buxton & Dave Rowan
      Everything to be released under CC-NC-SA
      Cost £0
      Built in 12 hours with help from Kate Kelland
      Images to be offloaded onto flickr for resilience
      Hosted on our new servers
      Built with customised textpattern (PHP) CMS
    • “A flexible, elegant and easy-to-use CMS”
      www.textpattern.com
      Opensource!
    • Textpattern in the wild (Heritage)
      Thames Discovery
      Palestine Exploration Fund
      Prescot Street Dig
    • Simple interfaces
    • Combined these
    • Flickrapi leveraged
    • Village game
    • Initial impact
      2000 conn/per sec to server on launch day
      Never went offline
      Only experienced slow performance
      Content caching helped get the site through the initial onslaught
      ¼ million visitors in 3 days
      Launch
    • Flickr daily views @ launch
      * As far as I am aware, this doesn’t include API views, of which the website made use and I used elsewhere.
    • Referrers and search [flickr]
      Always get lots of searches for our female Time Team staff
      Very few people clicked through from staffordshirehoard.org.uk – were they stuck in the silo there?
    • Flickr stats
      Processed from - http://stats.vispillo.org
    • Shallow surface find
    • New images captured
    • Kevin Leahy at work
    • Unpacked vs packed
    • Fred Johnson in his new suit
    • Misleading press
      Never any suggestion BM would acquire
      Stated from the start we would only step in as last resort
      Out of c.800 cases we acquired 10 last year
    • Front page feature bbc.co.uk
      The BBC broke the embargo, and revealed the findspot! The site was sanitised by launch day.
    • Daily Telegraph: 25th September 2009
    • www.finds.org.uk
      All hoard details will go on here. Each record will have:
      • full description
      • photograph(s)
      • geospatial attributes
      • multi level access
      • ability to study objects with comparanda
    • A typical record
    • The end.
      www.staffordshirehoard.org.uk or www.finds.org.uk
      Some new pictures behind the scenes pictures of the hoard were released yesterday:
      http://www.flickr.com/photos/finds/
      CC-NC-SA licenced