UPDATE: 1st August.
Apologies for continuing this here, for reasons explained earlier as an archaeologist who talks of responsible collecting I cannot reply on Tim Haines' "Ancient Artifacts" list and Mr Hooker refuses to comment over here.
Tim Haines' "AncientArtifacts" forum hosted by Yahoo continues to develop as a venue where the collectors' mentality can be explored (I'd encourage enquiring readers to join and look for themselves). The discussion of a Canadian collector's purchase of an unreported metal detecting find allegedly from "Oxfordshire" continues to generate enlightening material.
John Hooker has just posted up there a lengthy expose of his "methods and attitudes" - though actually only attempts the latter starting off with a self-indulgent depiction of the author's "psychological type" ("My own psychological type is INFJ" with the strongest emphasis on intuition with judgement being the weakest - yeah, right, could have guessed from the collector's fanciful description of a depiction of "life and death" on a thumbnail-sized fragment of dugup copper alloy). According to Hooker his psychological type "often annoy the hell out of people who are not of our type, because we appear to get answers out of thin air -- instantly. It is even more annoying to them when we are proven right -- and we usually are". Hmmm. Well, I'll go along with the "ideas out of thin air" bit.
The message of pointing out how "special" are the mental abilities of this particular collector is to reinforce his earlier point about how much better he is suited to making intuitive pronouncements about his "Precious" than most others (because only 1% of the population he says are IFNJs). These are the ones he labels "morons" who are weighed down by lesser intellectual abilities (of other "psychological types") than his own.
Anyway after a plateful of this self-indulgent stew, he then dollops out a dessert of generous helpings of stodgy goo about how unimportant for him is knowing the provenance of the object which he has at home. All special pleading to show why, in his particular case, the very simple requirement of knowing where something came from allegedly do not apply. None of this is very convincing, and totally misses the point that the issue under discussion is not whether it is important to a single person, no matter how well endowed pychologically. It is about the responsible collector taking into account that in coveting for themselves pieces of a common resource, other interests should be satisfied and not trampled upon out of their own unethical individual greed and desire to possess something nobody else has. Jung would have had a few things to say about that, but Hooker is silent on that issue.
Confusingly, Hooker claims he has arrived at something he calls "my specific provenance data" (which are not data at all) "gathered through empirical means" which is "of a different class than declared provenances"; in other words, where an object physically came from. Yes, yes it is, quite a different concept altogether. Once again, we see an ACCG antiquities collector avoiding a relatively simple issue. In this case covering the basic idea with lashings of verbiage and set on a bed of par-boiled psychological pseudo-intellectualism.
It will be noted that in this self-justification, Hooker totally avoids the main issue which is that purchasing this item, an employee of the ACCG undercuts the ACCG's main argument that through the recording of items in schemes like the PAS the interests of the collector and conservation of and responsibilities for the archaeological resource can be satisfied. This would be the case only if collectors are firm and only buy items that have been through the system. Otherwise the system is not working. Hooker has just kicked the ladder from under the ACCG and the PAS.
Also Hooker totally avoids discussion of his "methods" for divining the meaning of the decoration on his finial, his interpretation of the "ivy scrolls" for example.
Hooker concludes a long and rambling post with the words:
I sincerely hope that the above will register with those who are not afflicted by a conscious or unconscious "world view agenda". Those who are, however, will be unable to understand most of this and will never change without considerable effort on their part and this rarely happens as they are inherently unable to abandon unworkable models.Well, the whole point of this is that the ACCG who employs Mr Hooker to edit their newsletter does not regard PAS recording to be an "unworkable model". It is apparently part of their world-view that such systems should be extended rather than or bypassed and ignored - or is it the case that Mr Hooker has demonstrated that in reality the whole of this "if only other nations would adopt a PAS-like system" nonsense is just an ACCG smokescreen for inaction over the no-questions-asked market?