If there´s a candidate for hordes of treasure hunters descending on a place in the area, it´s got to be the circular mound called Gold´s clump, overlooking the village of Hints, next to the roman A5. Thats not to advocate treasure hunting and wanton destruction of sites, but the idea of treasure does seem to be a very attractive one(Staffordshire Hoard) a sort of lottery ticket lying in the ground but also the metaphorical idea of treasure, or looking for treasure is very attractive. The idea of a quest for treasure, information, a lost site, etc is one of the most appealing facets of archaeology and history. Its an activity thats ‘ out of this world’ , its not mundane in the same way as looking for your keys is! even if the ´quest´ is to study paleodiets in late roman rural sites.
As I´m mentioning treasure hunting I might as well bring up the issue of revealing archaeological sites and protection. Going around revealing and bringing my little grain of exposure to largely overlooked places could bring unwelcome attention and potential destruction of sites. This is an argument commonly used by people in heritage. I would argue though that the policy of hush hush has brought a lot more destruction to sites in the area than actively promoting and creating an awareness and interest in overlooked places. You can´t always keep a secret especially post facebook days so maybe it´s time to try other ways. This is a controversial issue so it would be great to hear peoples views….please
The above candidate is a tree covered almost perfect mound on a prominent point. Considering its prominence and the fact that its next to the A5, its surprising that there hasn´t been any tunneling to look inside by 18th century learned scholar types or more recent efforts.Famous Silbury hill on the other hand even got a BBC programme called big dig commisioned by David Attenborough in the 1960´s dedicated to tunneling the hill.
In the above LIDAR image it stands out as a spherical bump.
This is a slightly blurred LIDAR close up of the mound, with Geomatics group emblem splashed across it, the raised line to the left is a hedge.
The Hints Village site has got a couple of paragraphs dedicated to the mound and talk about a possible roman or prehistoric origin, I got the sense they also wonder why despite being declared a scheduled monument there´s never been any investigations of the place. According to the site a trial excavation and the potential communication mast have been rejected.
Theres a great description of Hints in Guide to Staffordshire and the Black Country by Michael Raven(online with Googlebooks) It mentions Golds Clump as a “large circular prehistoric burial mound ” He also mentions the rolling hills around Hints. The hills and tree covered ridges that surround the area are indeed captivating, there’s the feeling that you don´t want the rolling landscape to end so its best not to travel too far to avoid disappointment.
gateway to the land of the rolling hills