Monday, 4 August 2008

Archaeologist Nets the "Truth"?

Pro-collecting British archaeologist David Connolly has recently jumped on the Iraq Looting Misinformation bandwagon. On his blog, appropriately titled “Anarchaeology in the UK” he has a headline Archaeologists debunk claim of looting in S. Iraq war zone . There is no text, but a link is given to an article he found in WorldNetDaily . ("An unpublicized survey last month […] despite earlier, widespread claims of extensive damage. ....") Unpublicised? Its getting a fair amount of coverage in collecting circles.

Mt Connolly has a penchant for similar stories, he has his own archaeology forum (with its own "understanding metal detecting" section) where we find another story: "Archaeological sites in southern Iraq haven't been looted, say experts". This one comes from an Indian news website (which is in turn a modified version of the earlier misleading Art Newspaper one discussed here earlier). The lack of comment on Connolly's blog and the explicit reference to good news in the forum suggests Mr Connolly wholly supports the conclusions of such journalism, in other words that some archaeologists have debunked the claims of other archaeologists and culture heritage professionals in Iraq about looting in southern Iraq, leading to the conclusion that it's a made-up story. From this it would appear that this British archaeologist prefers comfortable pro-collecting stories from sensationalist journalism found in the Internet to actually reading the products of fellow archaeologists, even though some of them too can effortlessly be found in the Internet.

1 comment:

Paul Barford said...

I see that David Connolly has been reading this post and has edited his blog post to include a quote from John Curtis from the same article as if it explains away why this article presents the looting question as it does. David, if you want to provide information about what Dr Curtis thinks, maybe you’d like to refer people to the actual report by the BM? You can find it here:

There is previous discussion of this Arts Newspaper article in several places, such as the Iraqi Crisis list, on SAFECorner:
see also

and here:

Paul Barford

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