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Wikimedia Foundation Annual Report 2009-10/Together

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British Museum from NE.

Over the past year, the British Museum and the Wikipedia community have been working cooperatively to develop high-quality articles about many fascinating artifacts in the museum’s collections. One example is the Hoxne Hoard.

The story goes that one day in 1992 outside the English village of Hoxne, in Suffolk, a farmer named Peter Whatling lost a hammer in his field, so he asked Eric Lawes, an amateur metal detectorist, to help him look for it. Lawes brought over his metal detector and proceeded to find not only the hammer but a large number of ancient silver spoons, gold jewelry, and gold and silver coins.

Juliane Bracelet

The following day, a team of archeologists arrived at the field, and dated the cache to the late Roman Empire period, in the fourth and fifth century A.D. They surmised that the items had originally been buried in a oak box or chest, perhaps by a wealthy family during the chaos of the empire’s collapse. Many of the 14,865 coins and some 200 items of silver tableware and gold jewelry are now on display at the British Museum, where they have come to be known as the Hoxne Hoard. Some of the most experienced and talented Wikipedians, plus experts from the British Museum, collaborated to produce an incredibly detailed Hoxne Hoard entry, which includes over 120 citations, and dozens of high quality maps, diagrams, and photographs.

The ongoing collaboration between the museum, which has for over 250 years provided free entry to all, and the world’s largest encyclopedia, which is also free to all, illustrates how fascinating but obscure information of this sort can be given new life and brought to a global audience.

Inside the Hoxne Hoard article

  • English Wikipedia's Featured Article: November 16, 2010
  • Total number of edits (at time of printing): 1,257
  • Peak number of edits: 860 in June, 2010
  • Top article editor user: Fæ (164 edits)
  • Number of edits by anonymous users: 32
  • Article creation April 15, 2006 by user: Tascio
  • Article also available in Persian, French, and Italian

Images displayed in the article


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