Monday, 7 December 2015

"You Boys, Get out your Exercise Books and Pay Attention at the Back!"

The tenor of comments on the "John Hooker FSA" blog is up to its usual metal detectory standards. British Treasure hunter John Howland commenting on an extensive show-and-tell exposition of the coinage of Taras:
Hi John: Great series mate. Presumably there are no 'new coin types' coming onto the market? That is, legal coins from excavations and similar sources. Bearing in mind Greece's draconian heritage laws, there are no 'new coin types' coming onto the market place as a result of amateur metal detecting treasure hunters? 
Once upon a time Mr Hooker was regaling his readers with stories of how these metal detectorists were so much better at interpreting finds than archaeologists, all being minor polymaths educated in the School of Life not like the ivory tower academics who'd like to see them engaging in best practice. Those who paid attention in school however will know that Taranto is in Calabria. Italy - for metal detectorists, is the country that looks like a boot, Greece the one that looks like a glove on the map. Different countries. Duh.

The problem is that policies of attempting to get 'best practice' through outreach to (education of) a milieu with many members who showed themselves at an early age  to be inept at gaining any kind of education or even basic literacy skills is doomed to fail. Yet the PAS keeps on pretending to try. What kind of a national "policy" is that?

1 comment:

Paul Barford said...

A numismatist who'd probably want to remain anonymous posted this, I thought it was pretty apt to the case:
"can't make a comment on your site since i have none of the accounts to log in, but... had to laugh at Hooker's response to John Howland [...]
where he tells Howland that 'you have to avoid thinking in even the simplest fashion'. Since there is little sign that Mr Howland is capable of thinking, this advice would seem to be superfluous...

For my own part, I think it shows what a malicious streak Mr Hooker FSA has in him, setting his long-term ally John Howland up for ridicule like that, when all he had to do was reject the comment and drop its author a tactful line. Still I suspect many of my readers will not be at all surprised by such behaviour among antiquities collectors. Nasty people some of them.

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