Saturday, 11 April 2009

Who are the Friends of Numismatists and why?

Before they officially became partners of artefact hunters and collectors the PAS became "friends" with the heap-of-loose-contextless-coins-on-a-table "numismatists".

Roger Bland, head of Britain's Portable Antiquities Scheme has been to the US twice (at whose cost it is not recorded, in June 2007 and June 2008) to spread the word about the Portable Artefacts Scheme partnership with artefact hunters over there. On the first occasion, he was presented with the ACCG "Friends of Numismatics" award. See here for other, previous recipients of this award which to my mind render highly questionable the appropriateness of its acceptance by a representative of archaeology's biggest public outreach. It is clear why the dealers' lobby the ACCG issued their award to congressmen that had opposed the restrictions on the unregulated import of ancient antiquities from Afghanistan, what is less clear is why the Portable Antiquities Scheme got one. What are the ACCG relying on the PAS for?

Photo: Dr. Roger Bland (left) accepts the ACCG Friend of Numismatics Award from the ACCG president Peter K. Tompa at the U.S. Capitol in Washington (from the ACCG website).

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