Sunday, June 26, 2011

Even such a notoriously unbalanced extremist as Paul Barford - would have been a better and much wiser choice.

Disappointed by the news that Patty Gerstenblith has been appointed Chair of the CPAC, coin dealer Dave Welsh blogs:
Even such a notoriously unbalanced extremist as Paul Barford - would have been a better and much wiser choice
(That's the Dave Welsh who is notoriously unbalanced and extreme in his views himself). One problem, I'm not an Amerkin. He seems to be livid at President Obama's choice:
a dishonorable and unethical mockery of everything that the CPAC was originally established by Congress to accomplish...
(I thought it was set up to advise the President how best to help protect the cultural heritage. Wasn't it?)
This catastrophic and cynical appointment once again reveals the evil and unethical conspiracy through which the State Department manipulates and twists its administration of the CPAC and the 1983 CCIA. Stealth Fighter Maria Kouroupas, and her ideologically motivated gang of activists, have again shown that they are nothing more than mere unthinking tools and creatures of the AIA, the archaeology lobby and those foreign governments who yearn to exterminate the international antiquities trade. This malignant cancer gradually penetrating, pervading and corrupting the heart of our Government must be removed at any cost and at all hazards, or it will inevitably destroy everything we stand for and all that we hold dear - including what we think of as the American way of life.
Here's an interesting bit:
Bob Korver unquestionably paved the way for this immeasurable disaster by resigning, and must accept responsibility for what has happened and what will happen.
raising again the question, did he go or was he pushed?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Facebook: Norm said he/she knows you. Confirm.

Norm Kennedy chce dołączyć do grona Twoich znajomych na Facebooku.

Norm Kennedy: Liczba znajomych: 99 · 5 zdjęć · 54 postów na tablicy · Grupy: 35

No, "Norm" does not know me at all. Interestingly, he seems not to have many UK metal detectorists or archaeologists in his list of "friends" either.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

UK Metal Detectorist Argues Like a US Coiney

On my main blog I try to show the connection between the type of artefact collecting which the Brits label "metal detecting" with the issue of artefact collecting as a whole. For some curious reason the Brits treat them as two separate issues. They are not of course. In countering the false ideologies of the British "pro-metal detecting" crowd, the antics of a group of US "collectors' rights" advocates is very useful. So it is interesting that metal detectorist "Candice Jarman" (not his real name) in a post called "Depressing stuff in Egyptology" manages to make himself sound exactly like the American Council for Cultural Policy. As a collector he is of the opinion that Egyptological publications do their readers a disservice in that they do not carry
"adverts from antiquities dealers on their pages [...] I am sure many Egyptophiles would love to own a genuine but minor Egyptian antiquity".
No doubt. Many do.

He is also incensed that the 'Tutankhamun - His tomb and his treasures" exhibition contains replicas.
This is what we now have to put up with - as some might say, gaudy fakes! They just don't get it do they! [...] One wonders if in the future replicas will be all we have, and to see a genuine Egyptian antiquity, you will need to be well-off enough to afford a plane ticket to Cairo.
Oh, there's an idea.The airfare to Egypt really should not break the bank for the average Brit these days. It's probably easier for a British metal detectorist to get to Cairo than an upper Egyptian villager to get to London or New York. Many of the objects that the travelling exhibition involves are too fragile to travel. Basically it depends on the presentation and audience. If so many people thought like "Candy", such an exhibition would not be viable. These days the exhibitions rely on design to create atmosphere and multimedia to impart information. This can be well done with sensitivity, or can be botched. To what extent are the actual artefacts needed to get over a particular message?

Candy found it "depressing" that the a New York museum is returning artefacts from Tutankhamun's tomb to Egypt:
"As if Egypt did not have enough stuff from the tomb already!"
another return:
"Egyptian museums must have tons of this sort of material stored away in dust-covered boxes in dank musty storerooms, which never see the light of day".
Tired old arguments trotted out by private collectors to justify their part in the no-questions-asked market in antiquities.

"Candy" - referring to the vandalism in the Egyptian Museum - then muses about "repatriation" of antiquities and darkly warns "what can happen to antiquities in Egypt".
Hmm. North American collectors have no compunction in proposing something like this (for they have nothing much older than 1776 which they consider to be their "own" cultural heritage, except Mount Rushmore which is older). It is curious to see it being proposed by a Brit (assuming "Candy" is British born of course, he writes "artifacts"). What would be the consequences of applying such a model of action to the British archaeological heritage? So by this argument, the Snettisham Torcs should be scattered in world museums in Shanghai, Benin City, San Francisco and Anchorage, the Battersea shield should go to Brisbane for safety, the Lindow Bog Body to Lima. The Waterloo Bridge helmet would go to Oslo. The Staffordshire hoard would be partitioned out for safety to China, the Philippines, New Zealand, Dominica and Canada's Northwest territories. This is the argument these buffoons would like to apply to other people's heritage, from Egypt, Greece, Italy, central America, and the Near East. Now the British Museum (through its Portable Antiquities Scheme) is a "partner" of metal detecting artefact collectors - so maybe a bunch of them could get together and do a Portable Antiquities Scheme conference on "the perils of repatriation: artefact hunting and export" in the course of which they could call for the dismantling of the BM's collection of British Antiquities and their scattering to the four corners of the earth so British culture can be better represented in globalised "universal" (encyclopaedic) museums thus safeguarding the artefacts should central London ever be flooded, suffer a nuclear strike or be ravaged by anti-government revolt (or an uprising by a disgruntled ethnic minority) and looting. Let us see how far they get with those arguments.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Yet Another "Lesbian Blogger" Fraud

When the person posing as "Candice Jarman" started his nasty "Paul Barford- heritage - the Truth" blog, he presented himself as a lesbian legal secretary, even gave a few details about "Candice's" partner. When it was pointed out by a commentator that real lesbians do not write about each other in such terms, that fragment of "Candy's" profile disappeared, the first of a number of things that were "adjusted" as the blog author developed his assumed persona.

It seems posing as a lesbian female is quite a common fantasy for male bloggers. Yesterday we had the case of Tom MacMaster, a 40-year-old married masters student at Edinburgh University (Esther Addley, 'Syrian lesbian blogger is revealed conclusively to be a married man', The Guardian, Monday 13 June 2011). He posed as Amina Abdallah Aral al Omari, a gay girl in Damascus, who set out to inform people of the "truth" about being a gay woman in Syria (see the 'explanation' here).

Today a third one has been exposed. Paula Brooks, who claimed to be editor of, which set out to inform people of the "truth" about being a gay woman in the US, admitted to the Washington Post that 'she', too, was a man (Esther Addley and Ben Quinn, 'Second lesbian blogger exposed as a man', The Guardian, Tuesday 14 June 2011 ) in this case, a 58-year-old retired construction worker from Ohio called Bill Graber. Interestingly "Brooks" claimed to have a PhD in archaeology from Bryn Mawr college, falsely.

There seems to have been an element of sexual fantasy in the activity in all three cases, Tom MacMaster masquerading as "Amina" exchanged around 1,000 emails with Sandra Bagaria, a French Canadian woman and led the latter on to believe that she was in a romantic online relationship with "Amina". In addition "Amina" often "flirted" with's "Brooks" – with neither man apparently realising that the other was also a man pretending to be a lesbian. "Candice Jarman" claims to be receiving bouquets from "darling friends" in Turkey.

Candice Jarman: "About me" (first version, before 12th October 2010)
Hi, my name is Candice - I am a secretary with a firm of Solicitors in Hampshire, United Kingdom. I live with my partner, Sophie, in Bournemouth with a big soppy labrador and two cats - sorry Guys, I am a girl's girl. I am passionate about archaeology and history. I have many metal detecting friends - all of whom report their finds to the PAS and only search with the landowners permission. I am incensed at the misinformation and lies spread by the anti-metal detecting/anti-collecting archaeological lobby - hence this blog which will expose their lies and set the record straight on a legitimate and lawful activity. But this will be more than a single issue blog campaigning against one man - it is hoped it will also become a forum for examining how archaeology is done in the world today. I passionately believe that archaeology belongs to the people - to all of us - and not just to archaeologists. Is it not time to examine whether more excavations can be done by amateur societies, of which there are many? In todays straightened times, can we afford to support so many University Archaeology Departments and Archaeology Units from the public purse?
The beginning and end of that text have now been altered.

UPDATE 15/6/11
Part of the fallout from this affair prompted an article by Dan Gillmor in the Guardian on 'anonimity'
Sounding real is not the same as being real. The fake Amina's blog was especially well done, with details that sounded authentic even to native Syrians. Its unmasked author said he was telling larger truths, but we have a name for this technique: fiction. We also have a name for the technique of identity in this case: pseudonym. This is a much-used method online – not revealing one's own name but having a consistent identifier. It's one step away from outright anonymity, where there is no accountability whatever. As I wrote last week, the lack of accountability in such cases puts more responsibility on the audience. It is up to us to cultivate an abiding distrust for speech when the speaker refuses to stand behind his or her own words – that is, by using one's own name.


Thursday, June 9, 2011

There is plenty of people who do not like you including Archaeologists, historian's, British museum, P.A.S, there is people who despise you...

Norman "I am your biggest trouble maker" Kennedy informs me:
There is plenty of people who do not like you including Archaeologists, historian's, British museum, P.A.S, there is people who despise you from your profession [...] and metal detecting groups
I know. But is this because I owe them all money and slept with their sister? Or, in the case of the people Kennedy has in mind, is it mainly because I present arguments that seen from the archaeological resource preservation point of view, artefact hunting and artefact collecting are not the benign, sustainable and beneficial activities that their advocates make them out to be? I think he forgot American ancient coin collectors and dealers.

"Only Prats Hand Treasure Over"

A UK metal detectorist with the telling screen pseudonym "DETECTINGFORGOLD" found a hoard of scrap gold and reported it to the Treasure Department at the BM and then was highly dissatisfied with the discretionary monetary reward he got. So he made a video attacking the system. As the comments below it show, it got quite a sympathetic response from metal detectorists. Quote:
you should have flogged all treasure to some rich yank mate. why the hell you hand it in,? only pratts hand treasure over, nothing but robbing bastards bm. dont do it again, lesson learnt, billabongBUTTS

DETECTINGFORGOLD replies: I was quite happy to work with them up until this point, but the malicious lies which they have written about me, has now tainted my view on all archaeologist. [...].Of course in the case of a gold hoard find the Treasure Act legislates that "working with" the archaeologists (ie reporting the find) is mandatory, the metal detectorist has no second choice.

First "Candy", Now Norm Says I am a "Liar" About Artefact Hunting ("Metal Detecting")

Norman Kennedy is not a happy metal detectorist. He sent this to me just now:
Hi, I notice you have posted on your sub blog part my website http: ****.com part of my website you are breaking the law via the Google infringement you have also used defamation character about myself and my wife Take the post down asap you pompous lowlife and stop telling lies about metal detectorist's I reported this to Google There is plenty of people who do not like you including Archaeologists, historian's, British museum, P.A.S, there is people who despise you from your profession well in your case not so professional and metal detecting groups I am your biggest trouble maker stop telling lies and stop editing things so it look's like your telling the truth you are big Liar. Whatever the situation i will take you to court. Norman Kennedy

well, the serial punctuation abuser fails to say in which post of my "sub blog" (I presume it's this blog) I have "posted his website". I do not think I "break the law" in mentioning it exists. Just a few days ago the same guy was "thanking me for the publicity", and (using his pseudonym "Norman Bush" trying to be my facebook "friend") so really does not seem to know whether he is coming or going.

He adds:
I wonder when you will be around you phone you big LIAR"I want to talk to you
Yes, you've been attempting to hassle me through Facebook and your "online marketing" efforts for long enough for that to be clear.

He warned (not the first nor last, I suspect, metal detectorist to make a similar threat):
stop telling lies and stop editing things so it look's like your telling the truth you are big Liar. Whatever the situation i will take you to court.
Ho ho. Remember David Irving? He took somebody to court saying she was lying about him, and look what happened. Norm, do you really want to take me on in a proper and public debate about what the TRUTH is about metal detecting? I am up for (and ready for) it - are you?

While you are at it, I am sure there are a couple of things you could explain to a defence lawyer - like why on your professional profile you include Durham University as the source of your "Higher Education" but cannot spell "detectorists", "historians" or use the verbs "looks" and "are", and the spam you've been sending. That will really make you look good in court. Oh, and please do bring in the PAS to support your claim that what I am saying about artefact hunting and the preservation of the archaeological record is "all lies", I have a few questions for them too.

To be honest I really think Mr Norman Kennedy is going to have a hard time showing where the post to which I assume he refers is in any way "defaming" him as he claims. It quotes somewhat aggressive (and, yes, defamatory) comments in the public domain which he himself sent to be published (as comments to my blog). In discussing them, I point out that these personal attacks are ungrammatical and one might be forgiven for considering that they poorly reflect on the author who is offering services elsewhere as a "personal development coach" through the same profile as he used to send the foul-mouthing comments to my blog. Hardly suggestive of an advanced state of personal development of their author who apparently cannot even spell or formulate a coherent sentence in English. Mr Kennedy is doing his own negative advertising by posting comments online in such a form. It's all in the public domain. Have a look here. There is another mention of the Kennedys' "contributions to the debate" here. Then more liar accusations, with variant spelling.

Monday, June 6, 2011


@GirlArchaeo Lish Monahan twitters:
Candice Jarman writes infuriating blog about "radical archaeologists" and the "folly" of repatriation in #egypt. Ick.
Watch out Lish or "Candice" (not his real name) will be searching the internet and seeking the "support" of your (less 'radical') colleagues in an effort to find out the details of your intimate life and 'qualifications' for questioning collecting and presenting them in lieu of real arguments.

Candy, Clubbers and the Archaeobozos

The bloke who calls himself "Candice" informs his readers that, despite a break of several months since the last post on the "People's Archaeology (sic) Blog", he has not given up in his quest to present the true face of artefact hunting and collecting (which is what he considers to be "People's Archaeology").

He writes:
"People in our club say to me "Why bother with your blog....why waste your time....Barford is no threat to the hobby...." Maybe they are right, and to be truthful having the views of the 'radical archaeologists' out of my life for a couple of months has been rather nice".
Now what "club" would that be Mr Candice? The blogger Candice has denied he is a metal detectorist (in the blog's profile which was later edited), but still admits to having friends that are. So one would presume this is not a local metal detecting club. This leaves the identity of the "club" concerned unknown. Or perhaps Mr Candice has not written on his blog so long, he has forgotten who he was pretending to be.

Anyway "Candice" is concerned to assure everyone how much "support" he is receiving, from hobbyists (sic) and collectors (who we therefore understand are not hobbyists?) and does not omit to say: "And thank you too, all my Turkish friends, for the virtual bouquets - you really are darlings".

As is frequently the case on his blog, "Candice" also goes out of his way again to mention all the support he's getting
from those archaeologists who tell me "not all archaeologists feel as Paul Barford does. I'm glad someone is speaking up. Paul is absolutely not representative of even a fraction of archaeologists...."
They would be British archaeologists I guess. I think in general, yes, these that support collecting are glad that somebody else speaks up for them - they are not very good at doing it for themselves. Neither are those that oppose collecting (I get mails from them, with pathetic wimpish excuses why they don't feel able to speak up and saying how 'glad' they are I do). So British archaeology is largely divided into three silent camps, those who write to "Candy", those who write to "Barford", and those who sit quiet and say nowt. Then there is the fourth silent group, the PAS who steadfastly refuses to actually engage with the wider debate and archaeological/heritage management issues.

Note that the anonymous supportive archaeologist quoted by "Candy" uses the word "feel" rather than "think". That's pretty symptomatic of the archaeologists one comes across who tentatively express a sympathy for artefact hunters and collectors. It seems to me that they must avoid thinking the issues through down to the level of the principles of archaeological resource conservation, and continually fail to make any attempt to articulate in any detail why they are not applicable in this case. The end result is glib and unreflexive archaeo-garble like that produced by UCL's Gabriel Moshenska in a recent debate.

So certainly "not all [British] archaeologists [think about this issue] as Paul Barford does" would be a more accurate expression of the facts I feel. The difference between us is I am perfectly willing to enter into debate with those who think differently on these matters, while the supporters of artefact hunting are notably silent, preferring to leave the dialogue up to the pigeons cooing in Bloomsbury Square and pseudonymous spokesmen like "Candice". So until they find a voice of their own, we'll have to judge whether "not even a fraction" is wishful thinking by an archaeologist desperate to believe their position ("feeling") is not mistaken, or whether it has a basis in fact. Maybe the IFA could seek and publish some of the opposing opinions and then poll the profession?