Monday, 15 September 2014

Dr Vincent Drost, the Invisible man of the PAS (UPDATE)

It seems Dr Vincent Drost is the invisible man of the PAS. If you look at his page, the tab "View all records created by Vincent Drost" is still being hidden by PAS IT team. What is preventing them from presenting to the public the results of all Dr Drost's work, being paid for by the public from whom the results are being kept? Yet Dr Drost is obviously being kept very busy by the PAS, so busy he's not answered the query a member of the public sent him about that database entry of 22000 objects.

UPDATE seizième de Septembre

 Hmmm. Dr Drost replied, claiming he's "only just joined the Scheme" and - in effect - didn't know how to make a proper database entry, which is why the PAS are now hiding his records. Dr Drost joined the Scheme in July, has a number of numismatic achievements, is not an idiot - and before they hid his records could be seen to have made since he arrived a number of parallel records  in the database of potential Treasure items as "portable antiquities" (among the non-treasure items which the database was set up to record). So if he's getting it wrong, what hope is there for the karaoke recorders the PAS will now be recruiting as volunteers in the next few months and years? The mind boggles.

For whatever reason, the number of "22000' artefacts has suddenly appeared among the non-Treasure items on the portable antiquities database, and those finds are still present in the total displayed on the PAS webpage (see here for the data they can't hide).

I asked:
1) for the 'official' name of the findspot and whether this was a hoard
2) I also asked whether there were exactly 22000 items in that group, or whether the figure given in the Portable Antiquities Database was an estimate.
3) I asked whether there is now an individual record of each of those 22000 portable antiquities in the database to justify counting them individually. In other words, what does that number represent? 
To none of those three questions has an answer yet been received. We are no closer to understanding what is going on in the PAS than we were on 8th September. More transparency please. What is being hidden here? 

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