Monday, 24 August 2009

"Anti-collectors" a Disgrace!

The authors of [...] anti-collecting web sites are [....] a disgrace to the scientific and to the scholastic views that they espouse and all that should be disseminated about them is their slant. We might also question their real motives which seek to hide a proper assessment of the situation. After all, they have already thus proven themselves untrustworthy.

I am at a loss to determine where Mr Hooker sees "anti-collecting" web sites, as far as I can see there are a number of web resources of preservationists presenting the deleterious effects of irresponsible collecting and dealing in archaeological artefacts on the archaeological record. Maybe Mr H. would like to give actual links to the anti-collecting web sites he is considers to be a "disgrace".

The reason he says this?:

The [contention] that that the lack of the history of a coin is directly related to the looting of archaeological sites is not backed up with any scientific study which would obviously need to show "control groups" of sales data of non-archaeological material with a similar lack of object history and can thus be compared to a drug test test done without theuse of placebos.
I suppose merchants handling elephant ivory of undocumented origin would be saying basically the same thing. Frankly I think that the denial that the no-questions-asked market is allowing the illegal handling of archaeological is simply disgraceful. There is no scientific proof that this is the case. We know that a metric tonne of illegally exported coins were released by a Bulgarian wholesaler onto the US market as a test case in 1999. Today there is not a single collector or dealer that can hold up one of those coins and say "this was in all certainity part of that shipment". No need for a control group, as proof that what he says is true let Mr Hooker locate ten coins from that shipment and post them on the ACCG website with the name of the person who now has them and documentary proof why he asserts those ten coins came from the 1999 Frankfurt shipment. In that way he will show that the current form of the market actually allows the detection of illegally obtained coins. Otherise he will have to accept that what the preservationists say is true, the failure of dealers and collectors of portable antiquities to document the precise origins of the goods they handle allows the transfer of ownership of illegally obtained archaeological artefact in substantial quantities to be masked.

What ACTUALLY is the problem here for legitimate and responsible dealers and collectors? What is they want to hide when asked to keep documentation of where the legitimate items they have for sale and resale are coming from and going to? How can they continue to claim to be acting "responsibly" while refusing to do this in the light of the many reasons why a group of responsible people in almost any other field whould willingly be agreeing?

I do not think we need any "scientific investigations" to come to some preliminary conclusions what is going on, it is enough to sniff the air to detect that something is not quite right around the arguments currently being proposed for leaving the no-questions-asked market alone.

* Accusing his opponents of unobjective treatment of the evidence Mr Hooker does not himself neglect to use loaded language; the word "fallacy" was used here.

Vignette: skunk tracks


David Gill said...

Is this the same John Hooker who invents "facts", apparently based on insinuations dispersed by Peter Tompa? Can Hooker be trusted when he has such a flawed "methodology"?

Paul Barford said...

Well, of course there is no independcent scientific proof that John Hooker actually exists, or that there is just one of them.

He claims to have been in some counter-terrorism group fighting the Soviets and now he's fighting the preservation lobby as he sees UNESCO as a totalitarian organization.

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