Blogger Peter Tompa takes exception to my comparing the recording of artefacts held in private hands in Cyprus with the recording of artefacts held in private hands by Great Britain's PAS. Tompa presumes ('Cypriot Corruption Not Like PAS') to lecture me on what the PAS is and does:
No, Mr. Barford, the Treasure Act and PAS is predicated on the rule of law. Everyone is treated equally and society as a whole benefits.Well, with respect, this is just complete nonsense. The Treasure Act is as its name implies an element of the legislation, the PAS is not. It is a voluntary Scheme not supported by any "rule of law' whatsoever. In the United Kingdom there is not this "equality" that Tompa imagines, the border between England and Scotland demarcates two regions where finders of artefacts are treated entirely differently. On one side of the line they get to keep the majority of the finds for their own collections or do with as they please, on the other side they do not. That Tompa finds my comparison "inexplicable" in fact stems from his own lack of understanding what the PAS is and is not. It also has a basis in an incomplete understanding of the relevant articles of the Cypriot Antiquities legislation as will become clear in the post below.
The recording of artefacts held in private hands in Cyprus is directly comparable with the recording of artefacts held in private hands by Great Britain's PAS. To what extent is the private ownership of artefact hunted artefacts from the archaeological sites of Britain rather than their curation in public collections an expression of equality of access to them and to what extent does society as a whole benefit? Surely locking them away in so many garden sheds and back bedrooms is not actually benefiting present generations of wider society in any way at all, let alone the ability of future generations to study an archaeological record that our generation is in the process of trashing to get the collectable bits out.