Wednesday 15 December 2010

Qualifications and Expertise

So how is one to intelligently weigh the importance of Mr. Barford's assessment of the importance of context as opposed to Dr. Bland's assessment? That has to begin with understanding the qualifications and expertise of each archaeologist. Dr. Bland holds an important position and has done extensive field work relating to coin discoveries and other detectorist finds. There is nothing in Mr. Barford's account of his career that throws any light at all on his qualifications to accurately judge the importance of context.
But then is it true that just Mr Barford considers that archaeological context is important and does Roger Bland actually consider that archaeological context is unimportant? Given the fact that he is so frequently quoted (or misquoted) to support no-questions-asked collecting by his numismatic "friends" US dugup coin collectors and dealers, perhaps it is time for the Head of the Portable Antiquities Scheme to make his opinions on this clearer.

Perhaps also Mr Welsh would like to give an opinion on the minimum qualifications needed to be able to assess whether archaeological context is or is not important.

See also from "professional" numismatist Welsh:
Looting: The Essence of the Lie
Barford: Prince of the Liars
An all time low ("Rabid anticollecting archaeologist-blogger Paul Barford...")
Barford and Torquemada
New Year's Resolutions .
For someone with allegedly now "no qualifications" to discuss this, I certainly do seem to merit quite a lot of this guy's attention. What is behind this?


Dave Welsh said...


I have never intended to imply that you do not have qualifications as an archaeologist, nor that you do not have a right to hold your views on the importance of archaeological context, nor that your views should not be considered.

"What is behind this? "

The views of an expert, who comments upon a subject on which there is conflicting expert opinion, must be interpreted with an intelligent understanding of the expert's qualifications, biases and motives.

That's all that is behind this.

Dave Welsh

Paul Barford said...

Welcome to the blog Dave.

IS there really "conflicting expert opinion" among archaeologists on the importance of the archaeological context?

Robyn said...


You have attacked and questioned his credentials, despite your recent about-face. There was also a time when you wanted me to publicly post my "credentials" as a collector before my opinion on this matter should be given any credibility. How long have I been collecting, what do I collect, how many items in my collection. Do I have any connection to the archaeological establishment. These were all questions to wanted me to answer publicly before my opinion should matter, yet not once did you question the "credentials" of those members of AA that agreed with you.

So why is it that when someone doesn't agree with your "side" you immediately question their qualifications to even be able to voice their opinion?

You have referenced Roger Bland's impressive credentials and put him up as someone who's opinion should be listened to, yet you so easily dismiss the opinion of Lord Renfrew, someone who also has impressive credentials. Are the only credentials that matter the ones that agree with you?

I urge anyone reading this to log on to the Yahoo group AncientArtifacts (you have to register) to see what Dave has really been saying.


Robyn said...

Hi Paul,

I re-submitted my original comment to hopefully head-off any accusation about who really sent it.

There is no need to publish a CV to have a "right" to voice your opinion. There is plenty of information out there on both sides of the argument for anyone with half a brain to be able to form an opinion. I encourage everyone to research the subject on their own and not be lead by the scare tactics, mis-information and diversions presented by some.


Paul Barford said...

Hi Robyn,
Thanks Robyn. I remember him doing that - he even accused you of being me in drag at one stage.

Let us remember most collectors writing comments to this blog not only, like nasty Mr Barford, never publish their CVs for us to see who they are and what "right" they have to offer an opinion, they don't even tell us their real names ! (and yes, I DO know who this "Robyn" is - she has a blog which I have mentioned over here before).

Damien Huffer said...

Robyn=Paul in drag? Seriously, Dave?! What a stretch...

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