Saturday 29 May 2010

Looting "Lies" in "Antiquity"? What Next?

I've just spotted this article by Daniel A. Contreras [Archaeology Center, Stanford University] 'Huaqueros and remote sensing imagery: assessing looting damage in the Virú Valley, Peru', Antiquity 2010, Vol. 84 (324), pp 544-55. The online abstract says:

This article presents a new initiative in combating looting from the air, building on previous work in Iraq and Jordan. Looted sites in the Virú Valley, Peru, are visible as pit clusters on dated versions of Google Earth. Compare these with earlier air photographs and Gordon Willey's famous survey of the 1940s, and we have a dated chronicle of looting events. This makes it possible to demonstrate that modern looting is certainly taking place and linked to an upsurge in the antiquities trade. As well as being a new instrument for managing heritage, the author shows that the looting survey offers an important research dividend: the location of cemeteries not previously systematically documented, with potential for more thorough investigation even of already looted areas.

So a bit like the PAS then. Now I am sure therefore that the "professional numismatists" will want to contact the editor (Professor Martin Carver of York University in the UK, I can give them his full details) to demand putting in their rebuttal, after all they claim in posts like "Looting: the essence of the lie" that: "No one has ever advanced scientifically valid evidence demonstrating that private collecting of antiquities actually causes looting". Here however we have an editor from a respected British university, accepting for publication in a respected (and that is worldwide) peer-reviewed archaeological journal an article from an academic in a respected US university which according to the ACCG activists perpetuates "the Big Lie" to which I subscribe (they give the impression that I started it as the Father of Lies, but that is not true, it was being taught in universities well before I started blogging).

Obviously the ACCG will want to point out that this is a huge lie being spread by those who want only to "stop antiquity collecting". They will also demand to know, no doubt, the colour of the helicopters from which the new aerial photos were taken and which agents of influence of foreign governments contributed to financing this work and its "deceits". Let us see the fresh demands of the US coin-collecting community for transparency and accountability while they jealously guard all their own secrets.

I would really like to see the ACCG mob try and get one of their texts published in a proper peer-reviewed journal. After all, if they want to fight archaeologists, then where better a place than publishing in "Antiquity"?

No comments:

Creative Commons License
Ten utwór jest dostępny na licencji Creative Commons Uznanie autorstwa-Bez utworów zależnych 3.0 Unported.