Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Cowardly "Scholar Dealer' Hides Behind Peter Tompa

This is getting tedious. I am prevented by Peter Tompa's fear that somebody might say something sensible on his blog from replying to his and his guests' sniping actually on his blog. The ACCG do  not want to discuss any of these issues, Sayles, Tompa and Welsh all refuse to discuss them with me on their blogs, so I have to clog up my own with replies to their coiney nonsenses. But a reply there has to be to avoid their bully-boy tactics succeeding in stifling open debate (as is all to obviously the aim of collectors and dealers).

The Tompaesque sock puppet posing as an anonymous "scholar dealer" (ASD) who responds through Mr Tompa's Cultural Property Obfuscator blog to my earlier questions about the points he tried to make about the PAS (which he calls a "rant") really misses the point.

He pretends to not understand the question "How many hoards ancient and medieval hoards recovered in England and Wales have been properly excavated and properly published [die link level] before sale under the PAS" - but nevertheless gives the correct answer "very few". The answer is very few, the PAS/TA have a very poor record of recovery under properly controlled conditions and full publication. in fact abysmal. ASD seems to be unaware of the number of hoards which have been reported from the British Isles since the eighteenth century before metal detecting and outside the PAS. I'll put that down to lack of any real knowledge of the extensive literature.  He also declares himself ignorant of what die-link studies are. His loss, other coineys from the same stable insist they are fundamental, though I personally have my doubts about that.

ASD explains the finds reported outside the PAS as due to "not every finder is ipso facto a crook". But if he wants to claim that PAS/TA increase reporting, I guess that must mean that alongside the same proportion of 'not ipso facto crooks, there must be records from the otherwise ipso-facto crooks too? Perhaps an alternative explanation is that the existence of the PAS is not the ONLY explanation of the reporting of hoards from the UK as ASD seems simplistically to want us to believe. The situation is far more nuanced, the PAS being a symptom rather than a cause. 

ASD pretends not to understand the point made that the  disappearance of unreported hoards onto the market means that there are "CRIMINALS with whom the dugup antiquities market are willing to deal". The rest of us will continue to see what he turns his back to.

In reply to my question "in what way does England's Treasure Act (applied to hoards) differ from the Italian legislation regarding stewardship (ownership) applied to hoards? Both vest ownership in the state (in the UK represented by The Crown), there is no difference in the basic pattern of stewardship applied to hoards between the two countries" ASD answers:
Because the English Treasure Act requires the state to properly and fairly compensate the honest finder, whereas the same degree of fairness is NOT present in the Italian laws. Geddit? 
Actually it is money-fixated ASD who does not get it. More myths, the British Treasure ACT "requires" no such thing. Read it (start with section 10 and read the actual wording). Neither is it the finder alone who gets the award. Now read the parallel Italian law (to make it easier, look at arts 88-93).  But we were discussing "stewardship", that is Tompa's point, not the financing of archaeological discovery.

Meanwhile David Gill, the slagging off of whom by Peter Tompa began this discussion, wrote about something else entirely and ASD seems to avoid discussing that point, though I rather get the impression that this is not so  much because in its rationality it is uncomfortable, but because ASD simply has no inkling of what it's about.

Vignette: Ass stuck in a hole (but this one is not anonymous).

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