Wednesday, December 31, 2008

"За Волгой земли для нас не было".

"I am Vassily Zaitsev".
Василий Зайцев (let's get the spelling right, one 's') was facing Hitler in one of the most atrocious battles of the so-called Eastern Front. I wonder, in using such a bold comparison, Person-hiding-behind-the-pseudonym-Buffet thinks he is "defending". I wonder what 'threat' he sees across the Wye?

"Buffet's" blog is aimed at my main blog "Portable Antiquities and heritage Issues" and is named "paul-barford-blog-response". The reader will easily note that he has not actually responded to any of the points raised there about portable antiquity hunting and collecting. But then, there is nothing new about that from the whole sad pro-collecting lobby, the British archaeologists among them. All they can do is pretend to be heroic saboteurs and snipers. They may take random pot-shots at the "messenger", but the issues sadly remain wthout a proper response from the whole pro-collecting lobby who usually drag any discussion down to the level of ad hominem attacks.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Ray Blaker gets it wrong too

Ray Blaker Says: December 2, 2007 at 5:12 am
Hmm, maybe one of these guy´s should go back home (To Poland), and open his mouth there (Although I doubt he has the courage to do so), as in his home country they are robbing and pillaging throughout Europe, and selling on the black market. Instead he comes here and tries to destroy a system that is
working, and improving every day !!

Coldfeet uncovered

Another anonymous blog about metal detecting problems, my goodness there do seem to be a lot about don't there?

Coldfeet uncovered: This blog is by a mole within the Covemoles who has seen enough and feels it's about time the UK detecting scene is aware of the devious goings on of Coldfeet (David Hutchings/Chester)
The author calls himself "Crusader" and his profile says: "For obvious reasons my identity must only be available to those that need to know. Quite simply because Coldfeet will do anything to prevent the truth from being revealed." Yes, another UK "detectorist" who wants to make accusations without having to put their name under them and take responsibility for their words.

Buffy declies to play the "issues" game: he has another one of his own

"Just seeing when you visited. posted by BUFFET, The Ham Pie Slayer at 13:21 on 30-Dec-2008". I replied:
I am just checking to see if you are going to post anything of substance, as you promised. To see if you are going to attack the knotty issues rather than continually anonymously snipe at the personal traits of those (or just ONE of those) that raise them. There's ten thousand guffawing tekkie mates out there waiting for the next little mousy taunt. Not to mention Dave Connolly.
Paul Barford

The view from Germany

According to Ray Reddich
Und hier noch ein schreiben von Julian Evan-Hart (British Museum) gegen Barford (Ein Polisch ammateur Archeolög in England) und Swift (auch ein Hobby Archeolög), zwei "Kopf in Sand" HOBBY Archeolögen !!......
Actually the guy is wrong on all three counts.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Recording, but what?

I should point out I am not a pro-collecting archaeologist. I am a pro recording archaeologist” protests Scottish professional archaeologist David Connolly (“purveyor of dots”).

Let’s have a look at what this means in real terms. Barely literate internet auction seller danny 1970000 has what looks like a bronze statue of Diana for sale to the highest bidder.

“danny” of Beccles, Suffolk, England clearly has a metal detector or sells items found by others who have. Over the past few weeks he has been selling a substantial number of little metal items all from his “own collection”.

Well, interestingly enough, last week he had another, a statue which looks like it is of Minerva

Now let us assume that "metal detected object collector Danny" is telling the truth here, that these are truly ancient objects and found in the UK. Maybe David Connolly as an archaeologist would like to reflect on where he would go himself if he wanted to find such a figurine. They are not two-a-penny in fieldwork on the average Romano-British site. My thought is that if they are authentic, these finds suggest that “Danny” or his supplier has come across a votive deposit which he is now emptying onto eBay.

Now a merely “recording archaeologist” (for example a PAS-partner of artefact hunters) would pat "danny" on the head, say “
that’s nice Danny boy, if you would be so good, my dear artefact seeking partner, and give me some idea where you found this, a six-figure NGR will be sufficient, that’d be nice, now scamper off you history-hunting rascal, my old mate, and enjoy finding more”..

To my mind this is indeed being “pro-collecting”. To my mind a deposit like that which “Danny’s” finds seem to suggest is being emptied onto eBay deserves preservation for proper investigation under controlled conditions to add to our knowledge, not merely some token “recording” merely so some collector can increase the money in their paypal account.

“Pro-recording archaeologists” are doing nothing (NOTHING) to stop the erosion of Britain’s archaeological heritage through the exploitation of the archaeological record as a source of collectables. They are condoning and encouraging collecting and not trying to combat it. They are giving it an air of social respectibility instead of standing up and saying that this is not how a finite and fragile resource which most of us value should be being treated by a minority of self-centred individuals largely focussed only on their own material gain. And that is where I and Mr Connolly simply do not see eye-to-eye. Should real ornithologists be "partners" with egg-collecting nest-vandals in order to "record" where Ospreys HAD been nesting? This is a conservation issue not one of personal rights.

Mr Connolly congratulates middle class metal detecting enthusiast "Buffy the hampie slayer" on his blog for "pulling the cheesy mat from under the clay footed one....." and encourages him to "keep it up". I would like to ask him what is clay-footed about the arguments against encouraging this kind of exploitation of the archaeological record for personal entertainment and profit? He is welcome to comment here.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Connolly comes clean

Professional archaeologist David Connolly admits:
I have now been accused of a terrible thing.... being a quote: persistent purveyor of all those dots marking an inability to formulate complete sentences
It was fairly obvious to those "in the know" that the unnamed person who had sent congratulations and encouragement to Person-hiding-behind-the-pseudonym-Buffet for a "well needed" "pulling the cheesy mat from under the clay footed one" (i.e., Paul Barford) was pro-collecting Scottish archaeologist David Connolly. So it seems we were right.

Any time Dave Connolly feels like having a proper discussion about the archaeological issues involved in artefact hunting and collecting, he knows where your comments are welcome. Why "cheesy"? Where precisely do you see these "clay feet"? Why do you feel confident that the pro-collecting arguments are so much better founded? If they are, then surely it is the pro-collecting archaeologists like yourself that should be putting them forward and defending them against their book-writing critics rather than relying on the sniping efforts of rodent-obsessed "metal detectorists" to do the dirty work.

More sniping and ducking

Buffy the “middle class” blogging pie-scoffer claims
“I have been getting many messages of support but the one below was very well received by myself.. I have omitted the posters details as it is someone from outside the metal detecting community and well respected in their professional field so probably best we just see the comment. "Thank you....!, this has been well needed.......... pulling the cheesy mat from under the clay footed one.....keep it up" You know who you are- many thanks and keep checking the Blog (and emailing the Blog link within your professional community and posting on forums)

Best indeed. We would not want you revealing the name of the persistent purveyor of all those dots marking an inability to formulate complete sentences. After all hiding behind false names and sniping from behind the anonymity of the Internet is what it’s all about isn’t it? Do I respect a “professional” who cannot actually address their “professional” arguments to my face and leaves it up to “metal detecting” bloggers to do the dirty work? I'll give you three guesses “metal detectorists”.

As for posting links to Buffy's blog to their professional forums, let him by all means. Let the professionals see who Kate Clerk's review of the Portable Antiquities Scheme makes their PARTNERS.

If any professionals (including Pantomime Archaeologists) have anything to say - negative as wwell as positive - about the archaeological issues I raise about artefact hunting and personal collection, then I invite them to my other blog Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues. It's just a mouse click away from Buffy's rodential buffoonery.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Who is the mouse?

Buffy the self-styled “middle-class detectorist” who apparently imagines he is the conservation lobby’s intellectual nemesis seems to be losing his grasp of things. Yes, Mr "Buffet", one can edit these blog posts (as Buffy himself frequently does. So what?

The “name plate” he accuses me of “unscrewing” from the banner of my blog of course never existed (he confuses the text of my profile with the banner heading of my blog).

Let us get one thing straight, archaeology is not and never has been for me a
chained library”. There is however as far as I am concerned a difference Mr Buffy between a library and a box of comic books and girlie magazines at a car boot sale. There is a difference between archaeology as a field of human enquiry and mere collecting of isolated fragments of the past. This IS a conservation argument, not one of personal rights. That is what the book I wrote with Nigel Swift (Chairman of grassroots conservation organization “Heritage Action”) is all about. Like it or lump it, but don't try to misrepresent what it is we are talking about.

Buffy is determined to define something he calls “Barfordisation” (of the “known facts” about “metal detecting”) and then seizes on little factoids from the blogosphere support this notion. Anyway he seems determined to represent me as some kind of rodent, but who is the man and who is the mouse, who uses their real name to stand behind their words, and who hides his puerile sniping behind anonymity and aliases?

Paul Barford (Real name)

The Buffetisation of Debate on Conservation

It seems to me that "Buffy" the self-styled “middle-class detectorist” who apparently imagines he is the conservation lobby’s intellectual nemesis has lost sight of his own arguments. The sole basis of his blog consists of a series of taunting accusations that in writing of the erosion of the archaeological record by artefact hunting and collecting I am engaging in something he calls “Barfordisation” of the hobby. In reply to his comments, let us simply observe that (what seems more justifiable to label) “Buffetisation”:

- puts the presenter of the argument above the substance of the argument,

- uses inverted snobbery to gain the moral high ground,

- utilises negative social stereotyping to maintain that high ground.

Maybe person-calling-himself-Buffet could look in his own "mirror" . At least I write under my own name so it is clear who is saying what.

Buffy promises his readers "later on we will further examine ‘Barfordisation’ within the context of the much maligned and vilified activity of metal detecting". Hmm. if past performance is anything to judge by, somehow I do not think this is really going to be worth waiting for. Probably a lot of glib platitudes, puerile personal sniping interspersed with things he's found on the internet that some famous bloke has said and pictures of assorted rodents. Still I am sure it'll keep his tekkie M8s amused.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Anti-PAS Ham Cabaret

Buffy the pie-scoffing Middle Class Detectorist is not the only clown one can find on the UK "metal detecting" scene; now they have DIY cabaret.

Two days ago a really awful new video " You Called Me Irresponsible" appeared on You Tube. In it Norwegian "metal detectorist" Gary Brun holds a metal detector while jigging frenetically around behind a microphone with a series of photos flashing on and off a monitor behind him. He is lip-syncing (badly) a song about... well, what on earth is it about? It seems to be a personal attack on Roger Bland and the Portable Antiquities Scheme and refers in some oblique way to the UK Detector Finds Database. Quite what posessed him to do that is anyone's guess. I am in no doubt that his equally "responsible" "metal detectorist" mates think its side-splittingly funny. As apparently does one archaeologist.

The video is apparently:
Dedicated to all metal detectorists who record their finds in
the UK and around the world. The UK Detecting Code Of Practice calls you "responcible" ONLY if you record with the PAS. What about all those detectorists who have been recording for years with the HER and other organisations?? The heritage belongs to all and not just those with an ology.

Now, why would a truly responsible artefact hunter have anything against the Portable Antiquities Scheme? Which of its aims is in conflict with their beliefs?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Portable Antiquity Collection and Archaeololgy in the UK

For some time now I have been gathering and collating material for a book on Britain's" Portable Antiquity Heritage: Artefact Collecting and the Archaeological Record written together with Nigel Swift. The publishers' blurb on Amazon says:
In recent years the discourse on artefact hunting and portable antiquity collection, and their relationship to archaeology in Britain, has become dominated by a particular blend of ideas grown up around the ethos of 'liaison'. These have had a far-reaching impact and are reflected in almost anything that is currently being written about artefact hunting and portable antiquity collection. This book takes as its starting point an examination of some of the fundamental assumptions on which this model is based and subjects the rhetoric of this discourse to careful analysis. As a result, a somewhat disturbing alternative picture emerges. After a historical chapter, artefact hunting and collecting are discussed with reference to basic principles of archaeological practice and ethics. The phenomenon is also examined against the background of portable antiquity collecting and the antiquities trade. The authors then move on to consider justifications offered by the advocates of collecting both in the hobby itself and the profession; the role of the media in forming public opinion; the part played by metal detecting; the use of personal collections as a means of curating Britain's archaeological record; and, the role of the Treasure Process and export licences in creating a national heritage from the finds of artefact hunters. Alternative proposals for dealing with the problem are also presented in this title.
No doubt airheads like Buffy the Middle Class Detectorist and his guffawing portable antiquity seeking mates all over the UK will hail the way we have presented our arguments as some kind of "misrepresentation" and no doubt redouble their attempts to attack the authors instead of actually addressing the issues raised. Nevertheless the book is not written for them - or even primarily about them.

Buddy quotes Goethe

Buffy the Middle Class Detectorist now attempts further to set himself apart from his fellow detectorists by now quoting Goethe:
"Behavior is the mirror in which everyone shows thier image"
Goethe Coming some time soon.
Obviously the forthcoming post is not going to be a remark on the ethics of artefact collecting either. This is despite his blog being called "Paul-Barford-Blog-Response" (referring to my Portable Antiquities and Heritage Issues blog). No matter, it is rapidly emerging that Buffy has nothing to say about anything much, let alone on that topic.

Monday, December 8, 2008

The Righteous Seeker

"Buffet" the pie-gobbling middle class metal detectorist tries to set himself up above the others of that ilk, he claims:
I don't collect items, I find them and record, bag and tag the items and give them to the landowner as part of the history of their home and surroundings. The enjoyment of sitting down with someone and explaining the age of a buckle, the usage of a strap end or the value of a coin is as exciting and interesting as
making the actual find.
This is an interesting perspective. Instead of launching the detector-typical cheap personal attacks and name-calling (“Barfordisation”), he might like to contribute something concrete to the debate by using his blog to tell us what he thinks of the other type of metal detectorists. The ones who actually do collect the portable antiquities they find, those who do not “tag” them and “record” them, and those do not give them all to the landowner. Many of them sell some of them on eBay (though we do not know in how many of those cases the profits are split with the landowner). So for example we have the wonderful Mike Pegg video “metal detecting down to Earth” of which a small extract can be found on YouTube. I made a blog post about it a few weeks back. In this video, Mr Pegg is enjoying sitting down and explaining the age of a buckle and strapend, though I cannot see any “tags” on his finds in a heap on the table, some of which have broken out with bronze disease. Maybe the anonymous blogging non-collecting "metal detectorist” could tell us all his thoughts on the ethics of this kind of metal detector use and collecting. I guess "Buffet" must feel the same distaste as me when he sees all those detector finds on eBay, as they quite clearly belie the deception that these individuals are only interested in it (“detecting”) “out of a passionate interest in history”. Not all of them are, and I am sure we'd all like to hear “Buffet's” views on those others.

Buffy the Pie Gobbler Blogs and Gobs

Buffy the Ham Pie Slayer strikes again. He says: "I notice that this Blog has reached across the water to the depths of Poland and Warsaw in particular". Hardly surprising as its author or one of his mates sent me a message inviting me to look at his handiwork. Needless to say, hiding behind his pseudonym, does not advance any argument about the erosion of the archaeological record or the Valetta Convention or any meritorial matters I have raised about portable antiquity collecting, but focusses largely on my mistyping, and quite unneccessarily lectures me on the use of the word "perjury", (I had earlier expressed surprise that a person claiming to be "working in law" would misuse it in the way the author of the new blog did).

Never mind, the guy clearly has nothing to say about what I have posted on my other blog about the ethics and archaeological implications of collecting or any of the wider issues, so intends merely to continue (as do most artefact collectors it seems) a series of personal attacks. It seems that, despite being so concerned in the earlier posts on his blog to point out how unlike the rest of the metal detectorists in the UK he is, he intends to behave in this respect in no way differently from any of the rest.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Buffy the Ham Pie Slayer blogs about portable antiquities

“Edward” “On Blogger Since December 2008” left the following taunting comment on my blog:

"[I] think you should go take a look here: regards Edward

A blog about a blog. The author of this blog turns out to be coy about using his real name (as are most artefact hunters). He reckons “Who I am by name is irrelevant”. He appears to come from Monmouth and refers to himself as “BUFFET, The Ham Pie Slayer”; presumably related in some way to this. He defines himself as “Middle aged, middle class, professional working in the field of law”, though the lawyers I know can generally use apostrophes correctly and spell.

“Buffet” has ambitions to create new terms:

Like a child entering the world kicking and struggling, a new fledgling word enters into our language and that word is 'Barfordisation'. So, how are we to define 'Barfordisation'? Primarily, Barfordisation is used to describe a misrepresenation of facts. The selective use of the unknown as the expense of the known if it does not fit the argument presented. It is speculative yet perjorative (sic) in its useage. It distorts the argument and twists it to fit the agenda.
Hmmm. What “knowns” would they be then “Buffet”?

I do not think the anonymous “Buffet” understands what the Heritage Action Erosion Counter represents either, he writes:
Suddenly all metal detectorists become 'artefact hunters' in order to swell the numbers and exaggerate the statistics”.
This claim is really baseless, it seems to me however that Heritage Action spell out what their concern is in plain enough English. There then follow some pieces of detecting dogma no doubt firmly affirmed by the detectorists’ new partner the Portable Antiquities Scheme:
Farmers chemicals & heavy farm machinery would have their toll on these artefact's and increase their numbers as they disintegrate to become 'partefacts'. Knowledge only becomes known when we unearth (sic) the facts. if we don't unearth the facts we know nothing at all so the status quo is kept. But
this is the gist of Barfords arguments. He doesn't want the artefact's removed from the soil but he offers no solution to his self satisfying problem. For Mr Barford, no knowledge seems to be better than increased knowledge. What purpose would that serve?
Um, Valetta Convention? Heard of it “Buffet”? Know what its for? Thought not. Ask the PAS to explain it to you. If they can.