Wednesday, May 14, 2014


One archaeo-blogger is overly "pleaxed" [sic] with himself over his comments to CPAC, particularly his wish that "coineys" get a State Department financed "education" from their archaeological "betters."  He states,

As an aside, on reading the 120 comments previously submitted on this matter on this webpage, it is clear that the vast majority of them are coming from the same milieu (almost exclusively from collectors of and dealers in dugup ancient coins), and the degree of utter misunderstanding of the nature and purpose of the regulations applied by the CCPIA (and the purpose of the Convention itself) seen in them is striking. It would be helpful if the CPAC’s report on its deliberations could remark upon this, and urge that funding be found to fulfil the recommendations of part of Article 10 of the Convention to provide outreach to the US public and the US ancient-coin-collecting milieu in particular, aiming to educate and inform them better to lead to a fuller “realization of the value of cultural property”, what it is and how it is defined “and the threat to the cultural heritage created by theft, clandestine excavations and illicit exports”. This should outline for them how the measures proposed by the 1970 Convention and the legislative implementation of those proposals by the US are intended to function to combat that threat, and why responsible collectors should be supporting them and not merely parroting the words of those who profit from this trade. 

And, of course, this follows of series of posts wherein the same archaeo-blogger mocks the public comments of a number of collectors and members of the small businesses of the numismatic trade who are rightly concerned about the impact import restrictions have on their hobby and business.  

Is this the type of "debate about the issues" the archaeological community seeks to foster?  Let's hope not, but sadly his nasty comments directed at those with whom he disagrees are widely linked in the archaeological blogs of others with far greater academic accomplishments.  They, at least, should know better.   


Wayne G. Sayles said...

Good point Peter. The ravings of PB are easy enough to ignore when one considers the source. What is more troubling is the fact that some people who should be above that level seem to think he well represents them and their views. I wonder what part of the academic curriculum instills this professional arrogance? And, since Archaeology and Art History are merged in some university programs, I wonder how that plays among Art History majors? Times must be tough on campus.

Cultural Property Observer said...

The FOB's (Friends of Barford) include, David Gill (Looting Matters), Nathan Elkins (Numismatics and Archaeology), Dorothy King (PHDiva), Derek Fincham (Illicit Cultural Property) and Larry Rothfield (The Punching Bag). These blogs can sometimes take things too far, but none are in the same league as Mr. Barford. Still, by linking to him, they are all in the same boat more or less I guess. Wonder if any of them only link to him because they think that will make it less likely he will say something obnoxious about them?

Cultural Property Observer said...

Arthur Houghton asked me to post this:

"Far greater accomplishments than he? The man is totally undistinguished and seemingly unable to raise himself from the nasty muck in which he spends so much of his time. In my view and that of many others, including his peers, his comments are not really worth attention at all."

Warm good wishes.


John H said...

Being overly "pleaxed" with oneself - and saying so publicly - is a sure sign of academic pomposity; usually signifying someone who’s posing beyond the limits of actual ability.

His statement is incontrovertible proof of academic arrogance , one which we should treasure and preserve, and occasionally trot out to remind the world of the non-entities academia sometimes attracts.


John Howland

Voz Earl said...

Frankly, I find the multi-paged attachments of the MOU supporters to be verbose and pedantic--full of history lectures and credential pumping. I would much rather they simply cut to the chase and make their point, but empty puffery seems to account for about 95% of academic output these days.

The relevant questions as I see them are:

1) Is increased looting a problem in Egypt since the revolution? (YES)

2) Is adoption of this MOU likely to have any measurable impact on that looting? (NO)

3) Is adoption of this MOU likely to interfere with the ability of American citizens to access Egyptian coinage? (YES)

There you have it in a nutshell. Sadly, I agree with those who believe that adoption of the MOU is a forgone conclusion. Such is the current fad and so I expect all such proposed MOUs to be adopted in the future until such time as the pendulum of collective opinion swings in the opposite direction. That time will most likely arrive when it becomes clear that all these MOUs have had little or no effect on looting, while simultaneously making it nearly impossible for most Americans to own any antique coinage from a whole host of countries. Until that time of sanity arrives, we will have to be satisfied with making our opposition a matter of public record.

Jesse Hoffman