Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Neil Brody on looting patterns in Syria

Neil Brody on looting patterns in Syria: Evidence suggests a higher-volume trade of smaller, cheaper objects.

Dealers and their paid lobbyists were quick to go into denial mode. While Brodie documented his reasons for saying what he does, the oiks simply indulge in personal attack. UK artefact hunter John Howland demonstrates the depth of the PAS "partnership" calling Brodie's text "threadbare theories" and "utter nonsense" before engaging in the milieu's traditional tactic of calling into account the author's credentials. Dealer Dave Welsh carries on the theme of Brodie's "credentials" and in addition questions his capability and motivation, as well as his choice of research topic (!). 
What is not so healthy from my perspective is Dr. Brodie's institutional focus on looting and trafficking in "illicit" antiquities. He has in fact become an "academic archaeologist" whose "research" primarily involves studying and writing about "the illicit trade in cultural objects." [...] I am not an admirer of "academic archaeologists" whose professional identity has become the documenting and criticism of the illicit trade in cultural objects. [...] The attainment of "eminence" in the field of archaeology ought, in my personal opinion, to depend upon contributing to mankind's knowledge of the past, rather than study and criticism of the illicit trade in cultural objects. 
This is from the person (an engineer and coin-shop-keeper) who says that researchers have not yet proven (enough to his liking) the connection between the activities of commerce and collecting) and looting. Now he is attacking somebody who is one of the key figures in the effort to do just that. Note that Dr Brodie is being criticised for studying the trade in illicit objects - the very trade that folk like Dealer Dave declaratively says he too deplores and would like to see stopped. In order to STOP it, as Brodie stresses, we need to find out how it operates.  Coin dealers and lobbyists for the legitimate antiquities  trade can help this effort, or obstruct it. we see the way the Washington lobbyist and his obliging copycat pals are headed.

[UPDATE 29th July: Dealer Dave clarifies that he does not use the term "illicit" - but then shows he does not understand it. Amusingly, the topic of Mr Tompa's comments under the post on Syria has now veered from slagging-off Dr Brodie to attacking me for referring to the ongoing discussion (I use the latter term loosely here, because what the lobbyist produces is nothing of the kind). These people and their insistent claims to 'peer respect' are worse than pathetic].


Anonymous said...

Howland says of Dr Brodie: " he provides proof, if proof were needed, that archaeology is about as accurate as Dead Reckoning navigation. Ha, ha, ha! Oh, dearie me. Can the heritage really be left in the care of people who spout such utter nonsense?"

This from someone whose crede by his own admission has spent 4 hours almost every day for 40 years looking for pound coins and holiday makers' rings on Bournemouth beach!

Has not the time come Paul for you to provide no further UK publicity for this foul mouthed Trumpish blowhard?

Paul Barford said...

Mr Howland speaks for all metal detectorists, no? In EIGHT years of blogging no more than two (2) metal detectorists have ever come here to disassociate themselves from this way of seeing things. That should give pause for thought to all those archaeologists of Britain that fondly see metal detectorists as their "citizen archaeologist partners". Mind you, do many of them actually think about any of these things?

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