Monday, August 8, 2016

Credulous Live Science Blames Western Collectors for the Death of Child Looters

In what must be a new low, advocates with ties to Egypt's military dictatorship have used credulous media to divert attention  from Egypt's poor cultural heritage record with inflammatory claims that Western collectors are responsible for the death of children from impoverished families that engage in looting.  And once again, the main "proof" for such claims are dubious figures billed as representing exports from Egypt but which in fact likely reflect exports of artifacts with a "country of origin" of Egypt that likely have been out of the country for years.  Coin collectors-- who have raised serious concerns about Egypt's problematical MOU request-- get special mention, again based on a dubious assumption that an increase in trade in gold coins must mean there has been more looting of Egyptian archaeological sites.  Of course, it's just as likely that the small overall increase in trade in antique gold coins with a country of origin of Egypt (at least compared to the immense number of gold coins that must be on the international market) relates to modern issues from the 19th century and earlier as opposed to ancient coins that originated in buried hoards.


John H said...

Hello Peter:

Here we go again.

They are not interested that children are dying to make a living, but instead more interested in scoring 'points' against collectors. What utter scumbags these people are; what human trash.

Anyone with any sense of decency should be lobbying the authorities; the same ones who ladle out excavation permits. Obviously some of these gutless slimeballs, the so-called paragons of archaeological virtue along with their sidekick teachers of the English language - put archaeology before infanticide. By their actions shall we know them.

No collector or detectorist has ever stooped so low.


John Howland

kyri said...

hi peter,unfortunately humans are by nature greedy and as long as there is a demand for antiquites and ancient coins than there will be unscrupulous dealers out there who are only to happy to supply that demand.we know this has happened in the past and im sure it is happening right now.there are some that shout from the rooftops that collectors demands have nothing to do with the past and ongoing looting but as a business man who has lived by the most simple of all economic rules of supply and demand these people are talking out of their ass.sure the figures might be dodgy and the amounts of money involved exaggerated but its a secretive business.its no use shooting the messenger,especially people like Monica Hanna who has been shot at ,had rape threats and lives in constant danger because of her work.also if you take the time to read some of her published comments she is certainly no friend of the current government of egypt,i think you have to look much closer to home [the white house would be a good place to start] for that .

Cultural Property Observer said...

John, yes, that article seemed more like scoring points.

Kyri, yes of course there are always greedy people out there, but I think this article is way over the top and based on a misleading reading of trade data.

Glad to hear that Monica Hannah is no friend of the current Egyptian government, but that does not mean she doesn't have any ties with it and its Antiquities Ministry. The only real point I was making was that the writer of this article relied on limited sourcing to those who have advocated for a MOU on behalf of the Egyptian government.

I had an extended back and forth with Dr. Hannah on Twitter. I think she may see a distinction between ties with the Antiquities Ministry and the Government, but as far as I am concerned, one is part of the other. In any event, I've invited her to comment further if she so desires. And as I've pointed out to her, despite efforts to spin things otherwise, as far as I'm concerned "ties" does not mean "working for" or 100% in agreement with on all issues.

Cultural Property Observer said...

For those not following Twitter, here is the link that suggested to me that Dr. Hanna has ties with the Egyptian government through the Antiquities Coalition:

The other individuals cited as sources in the article also appear to be involved with the Antiquities Coalition which has a cooperation agreement with Egypt.

Ben said... "Top Cambodian officials" too. Mt=r Tompa, is the problem that it is really, really unlikely that Deborah Lehr is ever going to "host Peter Tompa"?

What do you understand by "hosting"? Simple hospitality or perhaps more?

Cultural Property Observer said...

If you look at Antiquities Coalition events, they are not known for inviting individuals with opposing views. Good question on what "hosting" means in this particular case. Best ask the Antiquities Coalition, but Dr. Hanna had to get from Germany to the US and spent a good amount of time between DC and NYC. Someone had to pay for all that.

kyri said...

John H says; these gutless slimeballs. By their actions shall we know them. No collector or detectorist has ever stooped so low.
remember this John,right on your doorstep,probably some of your metal detector friends involved.people in glass houses comes to mind.
Trophy hunters have been swarming all over the site of the fatal Red Arrows air crash – in a sickening search for ­“souvenirs”.

Villagers say people have turned up armed with metal detectors and shovels and even asked residents to point out the exact spot Flt Lt Jon Egging’s body was found.

One resident, Stephen Young, said: “It is sickening. They were just like ants crawling all over.

“At one point I counted 35 people all bent down in the field. It is very ghoulish.”

Flt Lt Egging, 33, died after his Hawk T1, Red 4, crashed shortly after a display in Bournemouth on August 20.

John H said...


What do you mean by 'probably some of your metal detector friends involved.'? I don't need any reminders from you about ethics. Either put up your evidence, or shut up.

Typically, like many of that creature in Warsaw's bag-carriers, you resort to innuendo, without even thinking that I or any other collector can be just as appalled as you. Your arrogance is telling. You and your ilk hold the monopoly of ethics, eh?

Understand this, and understand it well: The people you mention are just as slimy as the as those who try to points score against legal, wholesome collectors, in the issue in my original comment.

Best regards

John Howland

kyri said...

hi John,i did use the word "probably".Bournemouth is hardly a metropolis and its only reasonable to expect you,being a major figure in the metal detecting hobby to know most if not all the local metal mum and dad owned a chip shop in Gosport for years and they couldnt go anywhere in the town without saying hello to someone every couple of minutes. i never said you would have done such a deed and in fact im sure you are %100 sincere in your condemning the metal detectors that did.i only mentioned this episode not as an attack on you personally but certainly to question the logic of statements like "No collector or detectorist has ever stooped so low" when in fact they have and on many occasions.
also im no ones bag carrier,in fact i disagree with paul on many things,not least our leaving the EU [i wanted out] where he now does not even publish the odd comment i post to his blog but thats fine,it doesnt bother me one bit.
i certainly do not hold the monopoly on "ethics"and have never claimed to do so but one thing i would say,however much i have been provoked or been rude to by others [i can direct you to a few vile comments against me ]for just expressing an opinion i have never resorted to name calling or personal attacks on anyone.i have always remained civil and in fact will donate £500 to a charity of your choice if you can find one instance of me personally attacking anyone in any of the comments i have made to any blogs or forums.i just dont do it.unfortunately for you[and others i can mention] it seems to come naturally.
calling someone like Monica Hanna "scum bag and human trash" is a good case in sorry if my honesty offends you but thats the way i see it and im sure many other readers of your posts.for me the topic and argumentsyou are trying to promote are soon lost when this occurs.

Cultural Property Observer said...

Hi Kyri, I don't think John specifically said that about Dr. Hanna. I think it was a more general indictment of the article and those behind it. Anyway, you are right. We are getting overheated here, though let's not forget it all started with an article that strongly implied that collectors were responsible for killing children for gold coins and artifacts. The real shame is that Live Science, which purports to be a serious internet publication allowed such an inflammatory article that relies on such misleading data to get out the door.

Cultural Property Observer said...

Since she seems to continue to deny ties to the Egyptian Government, Prof. Hanna should also explain how she apparently came to be at a Egyptian Government and Chinese Government event in China: