Thursday 27 June 2013

AnonymousSwissCollector Video Blog 1

AnonymousSwissCollector is online with her first web blog. Number 1 has the title "Ecuador, Egypt, and Valdivia Figurines" and is based around the March seizure at Cairo airport of some South American artefacts bought on the US market. This is how she describes it:
"**ALL VIEWS MY OWN** In this Anonymous Swiss Collector videocast I discuss the recovery of Peruvian and Ecuadorian antiquities at the Cairo Airport. I provide a bit of background for one type of object seized: Valdivia figurines from Ecuador. I talk about the looting of Valdivia sites and the problem with faked Valdivia objects. Finally I ask if this story represents a window into what is supposed to be the growing demand for antiquities in the Gulf States. Verdict: Probably not. Vist my blog at and follow me on twitter: DrDonnaYates".
What she does not stress in her blurb, but I think is supremely important in the context of the portable antiquities debate is the aspect of faking to fill the market, that this contaminates the record. If most of the stuff for study is from the market and we know not whether it is real or fake, which scuppers the argument so often heard in certain areas of collecting that obkects can be studied" in their own right, with no need to know their archaeological context. Poppycock - as this case shows so clearly.

just 18 hits this morning, let's boost that a bit. She asks for feedback, I think what she's done is great, I found the explanation of Valdivia admirable and put into language which the average member of the general public can easily cope with (important). If I were to quibble (which I will not much as I am a secret admirer of this particular "Swiss Collector"), I'd say that for public consumption a future vidblog probably needs to be two thirds this length (it's 15 mins). I suspect for better outreach and a bit of visual variety, if she could find a way to edit in (or show) images of the items she's talking about, it would be helpful. But I think this is great and a useful way forward. More? Yes please, once a week if possible.


Anonymous said...

Thanks so much! I am working on the video editing part (I find IMovie a mangled mess, but I am working on it). As for the length, I will work on my tendency to ramble. Hopefully my internet access in Bolivia will allow for more of these!

Paul Barford said...

Fingers crossed.

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