Monday, 5 January 2015


On the collecting blogs they are still confused why December's 'citizen archaeology' Holt Hoard Hoik and the FLO's methodologically inadequate Lenborough Hoard Hoik should be the objects of concern and criticism. they just don't get it, the coins are out of the ground aren't they? Surely, they argue, that's what's important.  All the rest is just "archaeological snobbism", "idealism" or "jealousy", at least that's the way they see it.

Collecting and the antiquities trade in their present form can only exist when there is social acceptance. That's what both sides are struggling for. We present arguments and case studies showing why the current system is not working, the Black Hat guys by ignoring those issues and going for the conspiracy theories, sniping and personal attacks. We will see whether such tactics win or lose them ground.

The 'ten most popular posts' widget in the left sidebar of this blog usually shows that any given moment people are coming here for information about a seemingly random range of topics. This morning  I was interested to note that for the first time ever there was a full row of ten posts all about the same two topics, the two hoard hoik fails.  Of course there is no way to register what proportion of those readers agrees with (or understands) what is said here, and what proportion want to see what the preservationist opposition are saying, but what is clear is that the tracking software I have installed shows people are spending time reading these posts, and following the links from one to another. That, too, is quite uncharacteristic of much reader activity here.

I mention this because it is my bet that (as per usual) the PAS - who pretend they 'never' read this blog - are going, after their long New Year break, to ignore the whole series of issues raised by these two events as they have done in similar cases for as long as I've been blogging about them. Fair enough, the issues are complex and they have no answers and are not willing to admit that. The point is though that while they are treading water, hoping their critics will get bored or discouraged and drift away, not only the unresolved problems are piling up. So is awareness of them. The attempts to block discussion by the PAS and its supporters (and the encouragement of the nastiness endemic to some of their "partners") may be an effective short term way to deal with the piling up of issues and questions. In the long term the failure to even acknowledge existence of issues which need some kind of alternative action to resolve them will lead to a loss of credibility of the PAS. The Dave Connolly approach is not an effective long-term strategy:

"Content temporarily unavailable" - trans. = "You is Blokd,
eff off, we ain't going to discuss best practice 'ere"

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