Sunday 22 June 2014

What's with the "Barford"?

Poland and its rich
archaeological tradition
Having bought Brindle's book, I am now ploughing through it. It is, as expected, very pro-PAS in tone and in the posing of the questions. I was puzzled by a reference right at the beginning (page 19) to a text by "Barford et al. 2000'. Then I remembered that Philippa Walton (2011, 55) had not only referred to the same piece of work (in a volume on surface survey) but with reference to the same comment about surface data reflecting a mirror image of below-plough preservation. Both of them had (apparently) read the text however without drawing the main conclusion that it should prompt - about the method by which British archaeologists go about creating a HER, compared to the more organized way it has been done elsewhere.  Neither of them cite any of the several other texts I have written on the sampling bias of the PAS database which both of them were using for their work (Walton citing a "Casey pers. comm." instead, and Brindle - to my eyes - in effect skipping a detailed discussion of this fundamental issue). It is interesting to speculate why two writers with a PAS background independently (?) hit upon the same obscure text in the Polish literature, and take from it the same (equally obscure) point, and both ignore the rest. Habent sua fata libelli.


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