Sunday, 6 July 2014

Bogeymen and the Collectors' Time-Wasting Non-Arguments

This is the third post addressing the red herrings with which veteran coin dealer Wayne Sayles has stuffed his latest blog post ("A shot in the Foot" Ancient Coin Collecting Sunday, July 06, 2014) on the discussion surrounding Nathan Elkins text and the entry on the Biblical Archaeology Review blog. he really is a timewaster because this is not the first time somebody has pointed this out, and yet he and his fellows keep coming back with the same baseless argument:
Eliminating the private collecting of ancient coins clearly would not eliminate looting [...] Collectors are not going to "fade away" because they are harangued by someone like Paul Barford, or repressed by bureaucratic regulation. If archaeologists really believe that a war against private collecting is a remedy for looting, they have a serious problem. 
The problem for him is that nobody on my side of the fence has suggested "eliminating the private collecting" of anything. This is an accusation constantly levelled at the White hat Guys by the lunatic fringe of the dealers, but finding no support (not that these homegrown 'scholars' actually look for any to back up their loose inflammatory rhetoric). I dealt with this several years ago ( Beware of the Bogeyman Banner PACHI Sunday, 27 July 2008) and yet the accusation not only keeps coming back but in this case directed at me.  Mr Sayes has been in numismatics he says and he regards my advice to him to do some more reading before he attempts to pontificate on what archaeologists do and do not do, "rather humorous".  Well, I suggest again that here too he may care to stop chuckling and do some in order to intelligently contribute to the debate. He says:
 Simply that this sort of nonsense [trying to eliminate private collecting] is not doing Archaeology any good. 
Archaeology will come to no harm through being concerned to protect the archaeological heritage from destruction. If it was not seen to be doing so in these conservation-conscious times would be worse. The sort of nonsense he is pumping out is not doing his cause any good. Any problems collecting has in future are not going to be a direct result of :"Paul Barford", or anyone else, "haranguing" collectors. They are however going to be due to the response of the public, who are the stakeholders. My blog (unlike many coin collectors and metal detectorists discussion groups and forums) is a public one. Anyone can see what is being discussed and how.  We will see what the public's verdict is in due course. I rather think the tide is going against the nineteenth-century attitudes of collectors and dealers like Mr Sayles.

Vignette: Fungus the Bogeyman, figment of a collector's imagination.

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