Hoards provide a useful method of providing dates for artifacts through association as they can
Prudence Harper of the Metropolitan Museum of Art voiced some practical reservations about hoards at the time of the Soviet exhibition of Scythian gold in New York, 1975. Writing of the so-called "Maikop treasure" (acquired from three separate sources by three museums early in the twentieth century, the Berliner Museen, the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, and the Metropolitan Museum, New York), Harper warned:
By the time "hoards" or "treasures" reach museums from the antiquities market, it often happens that miscellaneous objects varying in date and style have become attached to the original group.
Such "dealer's hoards" can be highly misleading, but better understanding of archaeology amongst collectors, museums and the general public is gradually making them less common and more easily identified.