Sunday, October 31, 2010

"Legs" says Barford is Elusive

Well, about two people are reading "Candy Jarman's" coprolitic-coloured "Paul Barford-Heritage-the Ruth" blog. The first is an archaeologist Macrinus, offended by the methodology of debate which this pseudonymous (I am sure of it) person has engaged, the second is somebody calling herself "Legs" who seems to have an insatiable desire to know more and more about one guy in a far off country. Have a look at the timing and content of the latter's posts and decide for yourself if the blog's author is not writing the latter himself too. Note how often the blog's author makes reference to the number of people who are helping "her" in achieving the blog's aim. I suggest the frequency of such references in fact belies the complete opposite.

With regard to the blog's "aim", this "Legs" says:
We just want to get the facts straight regarding Paul. You can't deny, he is a bit elusive. If you really are his friend, then perhaps you could ask him to respond in person to all this. It would really be very helpful.
Helpful to what in particular? It seems to me that "Candy" has already found that there is information on that topic on the internet, that I exist, am a real person, that I have a couple of degrees (though she seems not to be able to work out just what I have written where and with whom and when and in what capacity on the basis of Google Scholar even). I really cannot see that this makes me in any way "elusive". That is more than we can say about "Candice Jarman" let alone "Legs". What actually is "Candice Jarman" trying to achieve? Macrinus calls it a "smear campaign", it seems to me that it does not even deserve that label, since apart from snide innuendo, misquoting and (deliberate?) errors of omission, it does not seem to me that she has been able to find anything more compromising than... well, what?

As Macrinus quite rightly admonishes the blog's author:
you are not attempting to dispel any of the things he has said about MDs/collecting etc. I still can't get a balanced picture because you are not attempting to debate here (in his absence so no need to have to debate with him directly), the issues. You haven't even tried to answer the question I posed in an earlier comment, so it is evident that you have no solid case to make.
[I've added the brackets to emphasize the point made, "Candy" is sniping, "Candy" is happy-slapping, "Candy" is biting at the ankles and running away from a proper debate]. Let's cut the crap about how many degrees I have, how much money I get from what sources, or where I reputedly live - just one ordinary bloke with another. "Candy", what is it you wanted to say about my views on portable antiquity collecting?

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Candy, oh Candy what is the TRUTH?


"Candice Jarman" is still refusing to discuss the issues of where what I write about artefact collecting is misinformation. Instead she continues her vendetta against the author (This is Mr Barford - Part 2 ) with "what do we know about Mr Barford?" - well actually rather less than she thinks, and report as "fact". But then, she is not exactly being honest with her own readers is she?

I am not going to comment on the sketchy reconstruction she offers - I really have nothing to defend, nor be ashamed of, she is rather the person who should be ashamed.

1) "Mr Barford had his own entry on Wikipedia". This page was a spiteful hatchet-job made by a person who also had an anonymous blog on so-called "Barfordisation" surprisingly close in tone and style - and graphic content to Candy's. The abysmal lack of real content padded out by personal attacks and cheap jibes was not worthy even of Wikipedia, and that is why it was removed.

2) "worked as a field archaeologist on a number of excavations, mainly in south Wales" No. I worked on the finds from these, it's why I am a co-author of the reports she cites. Regretfully I have never worked or lived in Wales. "Candy" seems totally unable to work the Google Scholar Search engine, this is why the blog's author simply misses a whole mass of references to article published by me (including some on the themes of collecting). According to my CV, the total should be somewhere around 176 (I've not updated it recently and really have no intention of doing so just because "Candy wants to know", if she wants to do "archaeology for all" let her join an academic library). The alleged review of my book is misquoted, quite tellingly so and should be compared with the seventeen published properly in academic journals and not by some pseudonymous individual on Amazon.

3) "why was the cross taken and for what reason!" [I think the solicitor's secretary intended that to be a question] Simply because it had the name of the person inscribed on it, given the nature of the project, it was important to document the identity of the source of the DNA. After the cross had been photographed, it was replaced back in the same place on what was left of the body in the vault when it was sealed and is still there. By that time the person who wrote the text you were reading had got bored and gone. Cheap shot based on incomplete information.

4) "In June 2009, Mr Barford reportedly cynically compared the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989 [...] with his own struggle [...] ". Cheap shot. That is not exactly what I said.

5) "Candy" is another one who does not want to understand the Heritage Action Erosion counter. So be it. It is of course not "Mr Barford[']s Heritage/Artefact Erosion Counter". So that is another cheap shot - but hey, here we are actually getting on to some discussion of the merits of the matter - but it does not last long.

6) "Mr Barford's personal life". Hmmm. "what a remarkable woman Mrs Barford must be" - Yes indeed "Candy", she is, more than you suspect. She has a few choice words about you too, and some professional connections you'd probably feel safer not knowing about. Since she neither sells antiquities nor collects them, nor writes on the topic, I do not see what my wife has to do with my views on portable antiquity collecting. "Candy" even has posted on her blog a picture called "Barford_home.jpg". Instead of showing Mrs Barford's home, it is in fact a technical school, draw your own conclusions. I really do not see how anyone can call the Zoliborz district of Warsaw "dreary".

7) "Candy" writes: "Below is a short biographical entry on Mr Barford picked up on the internet by a correspondent (my emphasis):" Perhaps somebody might like to challenge her on where her correspondent's "source" can be found. I doubt very much that there was ever a text with that precise wording anywhere on the Internet, certainly not one produced in consultation with me. More to the point, as far as I can see there is currently no such text on the internet, not even cached, so the question arises when and where "Candy" claims to have accessed this text. After all, we recall that she claims she only started collecting this material after "she" became annoyed with what I wrote about the Crosby Garrett helmet. I suspect this has come from the same "source" as the fabrications of the spite-ridden Wikipedia page.

For similar stuff (in fact probably the "source" of some of "Candy's" ideas): .

NOW "Candy" has got that off her chest, can we get onto the discussion of artefact hunting and where what I say about it is allegedly wrong? No more beating about the bush, take the bull by the horns, let us see the thrust of your argument. Just one ordinary bloke with another. No need to be shy.

Vignette: British metal detectorists try to put their case the only way they know how.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Pond Drying UP?

Metal Detector man Gary Brun continues the discussion of the Minelab Awesome-hole-puncher metal detector for "responcible" (sic) metal detecting in depth. Now he's decided to start on me:
Paul cares about the Heritage but goes about banging his drum the wrong way. In fact he does himself and his writing partner Nigel Swift from Heritage Action no favours at all (there long awaited book still hasn't been released after all the who-ha... watch out.. we'll expose etc.) and his campaign against the PAS is falling on deaf ears.
The reasons why the book is not out yet need not concern Mr Brun, but he can be assured that the arguments offered in it are all the stronger for the delay and the rewriting. Nothing I have ever written has been subjected to such rigorous editing and legal advice. It is not a book the British artefact hunters and their supporters or indeed collectors in general should be in a hurry to see in the bookshops. Unless of course they are impatient to engage in dialogue with the issues it raises.

As for deaf ears about the PAS let him look out for a forthcoming forum piece by David Gill in the papers of the Institute of Archaeology and the ensuing discussion.

The issues which have been raised about the PAS - not just by me - cannot go on being ignored forever and we keep unquestioningly throwing money at an ineffective solution to protecting the archaeological record. My great regret is that the Crosby Garrett fiasco came too late for the book, never mind, perhaps if lots of Minelab owners buy the book I'll get a chance to do a second edition.

Mr Brun continues:
Mr Barford trawls the Internet to find whenever he can information about metal detectorists to add to his poison darts to our hobby and to the PAS system. He is an expert at dissecting information and using it towards his own aims. I myself have stopped responding to the guy for a long time now and just sit back and watch his pond dry up. In fact so do many in the archaeological profession too.
Yes there are many jobsworths in the British archaeological profession who pick and choose what they like to read about the PAS too, and turn their backs to the uncomfortable issues, many who actually believe in a "partnership" with the metal detectorists who go around with the kind of tools I was discussing. I think they are wrong, and am willing to say why (justified from the point of view of the preservation of the archaeological record and public perceptions of archaeology)... sadly very few of them have the guts or gumption to say to my face what (apparently) they will say to their gor-blimey metal detectorist fans. If that is the archaeological "pond", then let it dry up, there are no depths there to gaze into.
We at promote responsible detecting, recording of finds and abiding by the laws of the land. Mr Barford can make as many assumptions as he wishes... but we know what we are doing and what we stand for. In fact our UKDFD site hit another milestone yesterday with over 25,000 validated items on our database,add to that the number of academics around the world who are using our data in their thesis and reports is fantastic. [...] Keep recording your finds guys and dont worry about a few middle aged cronies with personal axes to grind.
Wait a second "OUR" UKDFD site? Ours as in Minelab's? What an odd thing to say. Anyone who has followed the debate about the beginning of this private initiative (started off with twelve, down to five volunteers staffing it) will find this laughable. OK, so question, does Minelab endorse the "Code of Practice for responsible Metal Detecting in England and Wales" or do they not? The important thing is that this sees reporting finds to the Portable Antiquities Scheme as a fundamental indicator of responsible artefact hunting. It does not consider the UKDFD a proper record fulfilling the same conditions as the PAS. So Minelab, you are represented by a guy who promotes an "alternative responsibility", do you endorse that, or do you endorse the official code of practice agreed with eleven bodies in the UK? Which side is metal detector producer Minelab on?

Also of course the problem is not JUST whether something is merely law abiding or not, waht we want is law-abiding and ethical. There is more to ethics than showing and telling your latest goodies on the UKDFD web- showcase. Like the issue of extracting archaeological artefacts from archaeological sites on permanent pasture. I do not see the Minelab owners forum "promoting" responsible detecting by telling that bloke who wrote about it that he should be keeping off such sites. Just what Gary Brun is promoting on that forum and his many appearances on others is all too clear. Check him out.

As for the final personal remark, most metal detectorists combating the preservationists seem to be "middle aged cronies". Gary Brun is 46. Gordon Heritage is looking a bit rough too.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Metal Detctorists in Action

I found this last night when looking for something else and thought it was worth sharing. It's called "UK metal Detecting Lincolnshire, Market Rasen Rally" (the Northern England Weekend Searchers and the Lindum Rotary Club). The sound levels are a bit uneven (very loud at the beginning).

The first value it has are the depiction of the people here and musical accompaniment, draw your own conclusions. I was interested in the message being conveyed by the artefacts being handled singly and in piles shown in the introductory sequence (the first minute and 20 seconds), particularly that 'silver penny' at 55 seconds. I have one just like it, purchased as a museum replica in the Jorvik centre (I think) back in the early eighties. Then there is a sequence of a very deep hole being dug at the Market Rasen rally. Who says metal detecting is always carried out "at shallow depths"? This is irrespective of the attempted humour at three minutes (saw that one coming).

"Please view my other videos it says". Yes, that is a good idea - let us see what artefact hunting looks like in the flesh from the viewpoint of a metal detectorist.

This one seems to be related (foreign viewers might like to know that the object at 0:50 is a so-called scotch egg - in a moment this man with the strange headgear is going to eat it!).

And you though the English were quiet reserved people...

Sunday, October 17, 2010

We are still waiting... and waiting...

"Candy" writes:
I know what is right and wrong, I can recognise lies and distortions, I can see when a man with extreme minority views is trying to manipulate official opinion to the detriment to us all.
And I am sure you are dying to point out where these untruths and distortions are. I too would be interested to have some proper debate - so, when is "Candy" going to start?? So far we have pictures of me drinking beer, pictures of a map showing where people who read my blog live, vague hints that she has been collecting 'anecdotes' and knows something or other personal about me... but no real meat. Let's cut the crap and get onto discussing the matter at hand, portable antiquity collecting and heritage issues. Let us see what "Candy" actually has to say about THEM. If anything.

Who took "Candy's" Photo?

It seems to me that the last bloke who did a "blog about Barford" of the same style as "Candy's" made the mistake of remaining anonymous, which rather reduced his credibility as a critic (well apart from the fact he actually had nothing to say and contented himself with sniping). In this second attempt the author (I think the same one) obviously learnt a lesson and has adopted an identity. One I think which he calculates the reader will sympathise with. He adopted a gay identity hoping (I assume) I'd make some homophobic/ sexist remarks which he could then play on. He dropped that when it was pointed out that gay people do not use the sort of phrasing he'd adopted, but the original profile is cached.

So having decided he's going to portray himself as a secretary, he needed a face. He could have used photos of his sister or girlfriend, but that might put her in the position of being recognised in the street as a metal detectorist, which might be embarrassing.

But there is a photo on "Candy's" profile, isn't there? But isn't it oddly grainy, like a blownup scan from a magazine or other source? Now where would one find photos of attractive young ladies that you can download and use for free and probably not have anyone after you for pinching their photos?

Have a look at this photo of "Candy", long blonde air, makeup, simpering. And her left shoulder. Now of course maybe there are people out there that pose naked or topless in an office for a photo they use on the profile of their website, maybe Candy is one of them.

But it is difficult to avoid the suspicion that the photo used on this profile is a photoshopped chunk of a photo of a young lady (secretary?) reclining a la Rokeby Venus from a porn mag or a website.

"Candy" has shown you full length photos of me "drinking beer" and others which she claims are me in different places and situations. So perhaps it is only fair that she shows us another photo or two of herself. I'm sure we'd all like to see a photo of her on Bournemouth seafront holding one of her PAS-recorded Bronze Age axes (or an identifiable book on "collecting the Bronze Age"). We've seen "Candy the simpering office girl", now let us just see what "Candy" the collector looks like. Prove you are not a sock puppet.

Oh, by the way, since Candy is so fond of jumping on other people who do not say where all the illustrations on their blog come from, why does she not lead the way by providing the appropriate credits for her own illustrations, like where the photos used on her blog which purportedly show me come from, and who took the photo used in the Candice Jarman profile?

Friday, October 15, 2010

There's Fieldwork and there's Fieldwork: What does Candy Know about it?

"Candice Jarman" says 'she' is a secretary who has "metal detectorist" friends and is aided by the members of the Yahoo so-called "responsible collecting" forum run by Tim Haines. Both are apparently aiding and encouraging her to write a "Paul Barford - Heritage - The Truth" blog. The author calls me “the Embarrassment of antiquities conservation” and adds: "don’t his supporters realise that he convinces no-one and just damages their cause by his strident, crass, dismissive posts rubbishing all those who dare to voice an alternative view". So she has set out to try and "rubbish" what she says are "misrepresentations of the truth", "distortions of the facts" to further an "anti-detecting, anti-collecting, anti-PAS agenda". She has not got very far however with that task, dithering about trying to find photographs of "what Paul Barford looks like" - as if it mattered to my ability to write about no-questions-asked collecting.

One might wonder about a secretary's ability to be able to address any of the archaeological issues I raise, given her all-too-apparent total lack of any knowledge about the discipline. This is clearly revealed by 'her' comment to one of the photos that she has obviously been told shows me [I suspect I know by whom, and that person has never met me either]:
Here is another picture of Mr Barford doing archaeology it seems. The public kept at a respectful distance.....
Regardless of who is visible in the photo, what is actually shown is an exhumation to obtain a DNA sample carried out in 1998 in central Poland by an experienced forensic anthropological team from the United States. It was carried out under and in full compliance with a licence issued by the Polish Church and all relevant local legislation, the archaeologists are there as support to the anthropologists. The aim was not the full archaeological excavation of a grave of 1864, and neither was I in charge of this project. If I had been, there would have been more than a police-tape barrier, but screens as is usual in such exhumations, out of respect for the deceased. In this case however the public could only see the outside of the vault not what was hidden deep in its dark interior. Forensic exhumations of human remains - and especially not those in the state these were - are not places for gawkers. I think if she knew anything about it at all, Ms Jarman would be aware that a nineteenth century burial ground clearance or murder scene investigation in even in Great Britain is not a ghoulish spectacle they sell tickets for gawkers and bystanders to go and watch.

So yes, in any exhumation of this nature, the public would be kept at a truly respectful distance.*

Not like the metal detecting page I was reading on Thursday written by somebody 'Candice' may even know (as it was from near where 'she' says she lives), where the writer is laughing about the fragments of a human skull shown - that his detecting mate had dug roughly through a human skeleton "thinking it was a dog". Now that is what I call really "disturbing the dead" and grave robbing - they even took the skull home. What "fun", eh Candy? What a wonderful advertisement for "responsible" artefact hunting in the UK.

[*] Note: the photo she uses was taken with a long focal length lens and (among other things) in order to give the team room to work, the distance between the barrier and open vault was in fact greater than it appears.

SO? Barford Drinks Beer, is that a Sin Candice? Don't metal Detectorists Drink Beer then?

Well Candice Jarman really takes the biscuit. In her latest effort to avoid addressing the various cultural property issues raised in my blog ("This is Mr Barford - Part 1" ), the solicitor's secretary now shows some 1998 photos of me, probably with the intention of making it easier for the criminal element to identify me next time I am involved in an antiquities 'sting'. As for the snide comment:
"Here’s a pic of Mr Barford enjoying a well-earned beer (it must be thirsty work disturbing the dead) [...] we suspect he is plumper and greyer (even baldier) now.
There are of course no "dead" to disturb in a flying school which is where her photo was taken.

What is it with you people? When are we going to see you discussing issues of merit instead of the superficial peripheral ones?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Hooray for Candy: Free the illegal imports!

Candice Jarman informs her readers why she "bothers". It's all about freedom you see. Artefact hunting is legal where it is legal, and illegal where it is illegal, but Barford allegedly has "bedfellows" who want to ban the lot. I asked Candice if she is on the same side as the no-questions-collecting crowd. Of course 'she' will not answer that directly, but has done so indirectly. Among the erosions of "rights' that people like Barford and his "bedfellows" are responsible for was "the repatriation of antiquities from the Getty Museum to Italy" (umm, maybe Candice would like to do a bit of reading about why they went back - if you don't trust my Blog, what about Looting matters or the Los Angeles Times?) and "the attractive, but actually unimportant, mummy case [...] seized by US Customs and repatriated to Egypt". Unimportant I would say is a relative notion. Again the Bournemouth secretary might try and do some reading to discover why it went back (Looting matters or those two Florida lawyer blokes). So these are the "freedoms" the UK metal detectorists' friend wants to support? Trade and import of looted and illegally exported ancient artefacts? We remember the whole Jarman blooging urge was roused by discussion of the sale of the Crosby garrett helment by its metal detectorist finder to a secretive private collector. No wonder the ACCG crowd are gravitating to her blog.

Many UK detectorists are savvy enough to realise that my drawing parallels between the UK and US markets for antiquities, the rhetoric of collecting in the UK and that in the US does artefact hunting in Britain no favours whatsoever. They deny that there are any such parallels. Not so, Candice. Carry on Ms Jarman - drop your "friends" right in it. I am sure they will thank you for it... :>)

She writes:

Why bother? Because we are going to make sure these guys DON’T get their way…

well, JUST like the ACCG.

This is the fourth post on her blog, we have yet to see any demonstration of any misrepresentations or falsehoods on my blog about artefact hunting. Instead through inexperience and naivity it seems to me that the authorette has given a perfect vindication of what I myself see as one of the more damaging (for UK artefact hunting) arguments my blog advances about its wider context. This is not very indicative of joined up thinking on her part.

Wayne Weighs In and Sides with Candice

Candice Jarman knows how to gain friends and make enemies. US coiney Lobbyist Wayne Sayles has come across her blog and has sent a message of encouragement. He admits that when it comes to my discussions of no-questions-asked collecting: "I simply consider the source and ignore his rants". You see, he explains Paul Barford, critic of the ACCG which he heads "has no standing in archaeology". But he fails to note that Candice criticises other archaeologists too, Barford, Gill and Renfrew. So how would Sayles dismiss them, for surely it would not be by denying that any of them have any "standing" in archaeology? How odd that Sayles however, who has no "standing" in the State department freely criticises it in the same terms as I use to address the no-questions-asked trading and collecting activities of his members. How odd to see the amateur student of history suddenly refer to "authority" (or lack of it) as the key argument whether or not words are worth heeding - surely the underlying idea of an avocational (independent) student of the past is the rejection of all such institutionalised authority.

Thus, neither Sayles nor Candice Jarman have any "standing" in archaeology either but feel wholly and uniquely qualified to dismiss it as governed by fear and controlled by the "radicals" and to cast aspersions on the motivation of all and any professional archaeologists concerned about looting. Despite her general lack of qualifications for such a task, Sayles throws her to the lions and encourages the secretary Candy:
If you focus on combating his disgusting rhetoric with truths, you will have done the world a great service.
So he himself is unable to do it, or get one of his coiney-Guild minions to do it, but wants to see a young inexperienced girl do the job for him. So, Candice, never mind researching how many degrees I have and from where, since I have no "standing", let us see my "disgusting rhetoric" contrasted with "the truths" about no-questions-asked collecting. Please, the Executive Director of the Ancient Coin Collectors' Guild does not want to put me straight, you do it. Saves him the work, he can get on with just selling the coins he does.

Candy, since you tell us the artefacts you collect are all recorded by the PAS, would YOU buy artefacts from this man Wayne Sayles? He obviously thinks you are on the same side. Are you? The same side as Wayne Sayles and Peter Tompa, John Hooker,? Are you, Candice?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Candice "People do not care"

Candice Jarman, secretary in UK solicitor's firm who claims she is passionate about history says: For once Paul Barford is right!
Yes, Mr Barford, most people just don't care. She is referring to my article about the manner in which the US Cultural property Advisory Committee carries out its "public consultations". I was referring of course to the American public. I find it odd though that this woman can so easily admit that this is the case, supposedly she started her blog because she is "passionate about archaeology and history" and is - according to her own words - fighting for what?
I passionately believe that archaeology belongs to the people - to all of us - and not just to archaeologists. [...] In todays straightened times(sic), can we afford to support so many University Archaeology Departments and Archaeology Units from the public purse? Are you fed up with the 'radical archaeologists' telling you what you should do and how you should think? If YES, then send your news and views to candicejarman@[...] LET'S MAKE SURE OUR VOICE IS HEARD!
So "OUR" is whose voice if "the people do not care" Ms Jarman? Either they are behind you when you are fighting for their (equal?) access to it, or they do not care and you are just fighting for yourself, so you can buy more dugup "bronze age palstaves and socketted axes" on the open market. Which is it?

Legs has to Know

One correspondent on Candice Jarman's blog just has to know:
Paul Barford, if you or one of your friends is reading please answer this. Which university did you attend, what was your degree in and when were you there? It's a simple question. I've followed the links on your blog and I'm still none the wiser, sorry. ??? 12 October 2010 15:54
I'm not quite sure why the three question marks are there. Neither of course are we any the wiser who "legs" is, whether he or she has friends, whether he or she attended a university, got a degree in anything other than being annoying and when. there are no links to follow in this individual's profile which is wholly empty of content. But the comment is full of impudence.

I have in fact answered those questions (at least) once before on a forum, the text should still be out there and I do not feel the need to repeat any of it.

Frankly, if I were an unemployed miner with two CSEs living with my pensioner mum and a three legged cat in a two up two down and with a taste for pot noodles, transvestitism and mild sadomasochism, it really surely would make not a smidgin of a difference to whether what I write on my main blog [Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues] has any meaning or not. I'm blogging on collecting and related issues for my own entertainment anyway. Take it or leave it. I write under my own name, which neither "legs" nor - I am sure - "Candice Jarman" do. Most metal detectorists prefer anonymity and pseudonyms to hide behind, most UK metal detecting forums are closed to outsiders, as are most coin collecting and antiquity collecting forums.

I openly write my frank opinions in my own little niche corner of the internet, but force nobody to read them. That I do so openly does not however mean that jerks like "Legs" and "Candice" or any of their guffawing detectorist sidekicks have a "right" to attempt to invade the privacy of other areas of my life.