Friday, October 17, 2014

PAS-Syrian Style?

Archaeo-blogger Paul Barford sees ISIS inspired looting in Syria, apparently organized with the help of local archaeologists (who may very well be acting under extreme duress) as the Syrian equivalent of the Portable Antiquities Scheme.  He then goes out of his way to disparage a real American archaeologist with impeccable credentials-- who has actually done something constructive about the sad situation by helping to train Syrian museum professionals -- in his screed.

Presumably, some of the more responsible individuals at the AIA and in the archaeological lobby may be may be wondering whether having such an unguided missile "on their side" is more of a curse than a blessing.  If not, they should.

1 comment:

John H said...

Paul Barford's arguments are hoary old chestnuts, threadbare, and bankrupt, as you, I and others, are fully aware.

What Barford spouts against collectors and detectorists is well worthy of the Brothers Grimm but best of all he seems to genuinely believe he is the authorized mouthpiece for archaeology, a notion bolstered no doubt with the scalp of Mike Heyworth the Director of the Council for British Archaeology hanging from his belt, who demonstrated his naivety in supporting Barford's fact-free and widely ridiculed, unscientific, guess-timation, known as the Artifact Erosion Counter.

What's becoming unpalatable to Barford, apparently, is what detectorists and collectors have strongly suspected (and in some cases, known) for decades; that archaeologists have their sticky fingers in the cookie jar and it's all going public.

I for one, am delighted to witness Paul Barford squirming in chagrin, and embarrassment, as the heritage pigeons come home to roost.

Warm regards

John Howland