Tuesday, December 4, 2012

More Success from Treasure Act and PAS

The Treasure Act and Portable Antiquities Scheme have reported another good year, which again begs the question why the US archaeological lobby is so hostile to any suggestion that a similar program should be tried elsewhere and barely tolerant of the program even for England and Wales.

Indeed, it's a bit of a puzzle why the archaeological lobby (and by default their allies in the State Department Cultural Heritage Center) seem more influenced by the views of the corrupt and/or bankrupt and/or authoritarian governments of places like Bulgaria, China, Cyprus, Egypt, Greece and Italy than by the fair play of our longstanding ally, the United Kingdom. 

Perhaps, some of the millions of dollars of US taxpayer money committed to archaeological projects in places  like Iraq and Egypt should instead be invested in a pilot Portable Antiquities Scheme program in a place like Bulgaria.  That would help Bulgaria record many of the coins that now are not recorded, and show our support not only for Bulgaria, but for our ally, the United Kingdom.


Paul Barford said...

Nobody is "hostile" to the idea of setting one up in the USA. I really cannot see (as I have many times said) why the collectors' rights organizations of the US do not band together to put the case for it, lead by example.

When you've got one up and running in the US and have tested its effiacity in a situation outside the specific legislation and social conditions of England and (for the moment) Wales, that is the time to propose that you (the US) help others to set one up too. WHY are you not doing this instead of merely moaning about nobody doing it? WHY?

Cultural Property Observer said...

Great idea, particularly if voluntary, but funding will need to come from other sources. The ACCG is for ancient coin collectors, and I'm not aware of ancient coins being found in the US in any numbers (though some old Chinese coins are found in old China towns and on occasion ancient Roman coins have been found in the US, which had been brought by earliest colonists.) Kidding aside, this would be a great thing for a University to set up with local metal detecting groups. And it would be far more positve thing to do than just griping about metal detectorists.