Monday 16 September 2013

Supercilious Coineys Attack Omaha Journalist

"Matthew [Hanson] is a metro columnist at The World-Herald, where he writes roughly three columns a week focusing on all things Omahan", it says in the blurb to an article in the local Omaha press. So basically when asked to write a local-interest story about an old coin found on an Omaha university dig half-way round the world, I do not think many of us would be expecting anything other than what we find here: "UNO archaeological dig in Israel unearths priceless Cleopatra coin" Friday, September 6, 2013 .
Not so "Coins weekly" (well-known for its own journalists getting issues connected with import controls on dugups totally round their neck) and Ursula Kampmann. Oh no. For her it's a "real problem" (if only dugup coin collecting really involved only 'problems' like these) that this article was not written by a specialist in the coinage of the period. And why oh, why, she agonises is there no reaction? "This concoction of an article is not being commented on by numismatists or coin collectors even though the article may be directly commented on through Facebook. Do it!" - she urges her readers. She's done her bit, angrily attacking the author by email and Facebook AND writing an unfriendly comment under his article ("we at least, wrote on September 7, 2013 that these priceless coins do have a price"). Yes, I am sure they do. This looks to me like another coiney attack on archaeologists (I'm trying to find out what makes philogist [apparently] Dr Greg Jenks from Brisbane an archaeologist as reported by her). I'd like to see Ms Kampmann make the comparison between what this coin tells us as a loose artefact sold "at a Heritage auction on March 8, 2012 for the sum of $3,250" and the same coin found where it had been buried in context in an excavation on the unlooted parts of an archaeological site. Dos the latter embody more or less information for historical enquiry? Instead of fixating about "how many" of these coins collectors have, and how much they will fetch in an auction, perhaps numismatists (real numismatists not shopkeepers playing numismatists) might like to address the real issues?
Of course, in urging all those "scholarly" coin collectors to react to this lack of scholarly rigour applied by a local newspaper journalist, Kampmann seems to ignore one possibility, that the way the journalist wrote about the coins in fact reflects the very way that many US citizens acquiring them see them themselves:
"Shrouded in mystery from a time so long ago that the Romans hadn't yet fully built their empire [...] she was, in fact, holding a tiny, priceless nugget of ancient civilization in the palm of her hand [...] I knew — I was looking at a face from the history books.”
Anyway, it will be interested to see how many more US coNothing spectacular for somebody involved in coins" comments and what they write.
ineys write snotty "

 Ursula Kampmann, 'Priceless coin worth ca 4,000 euros unearthed' Coins Weekly.

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