Sunday, May 20, 2012

by Peter Tompa

Does snobbery help motivate the archaeological community’s support for clamp downs on collecting? One might conclude “yes,” based on this:

I’ve had the pleasure of being both a Trustee of the American Numismatic Society and the head of a local ancient coin club, the Ancient Numismatic Society of Washington, DC. Both have done excellent work fostering the appreciation and study of ancient coins. The work of the ANS is unparalleled. But the work of individual collectors has been important too. For example, members of the ANSWDC have written books that have ranged from the major work on Seleucid coins to another on an understudied area in Roman numismatics.

Now, more information is being placed on the Internet. Alfredo De La Fe should be commended for his new contribution. To mock it instead only betrays the academic snobbery behind the archaeological community’s opposition to collectors and collecting.


 To quote from Barford's nasty mockery:

"Quite clearly though, it is dugup Roman coins that most appeal to De La Fe and his collaborators. Roman Republican  Imperatorial (2193), Roman Imperial (23614) Roman Provincial (5447). Byzantine (606)  Goths, Vandals (225)  All together, the total is over 32 thousand coins in this group.  Add just over 10000 for the rest of the ancient coins, that is over 42000 holes in the archaeological record somewhere so Mr De La Fe's collaborators can do this online show-and-tell presentation of their online-purchased dugup trophies.

This is not research, neither is this a resource that can be used for any kind of research (apart from "I've got one of them too" searches, which might be the only kind of research its originators actually have in mind)."

I have previously observed that Mr. Barford in reality knows very little about numismatics. He has just given every numismatist an excellent reason to agree with that perspective.

Mr. Barford is such a numismatic ignoramus that he wouldn't recognize genuine numismatic research if it hit him over the head. For Mr. Barford to engage in offensive snobbery of this sort is very strange indeed, for Alfredo de La Fe would (in the opinion of almost anyone who does not keep Barford company in Wolkenkuckucsheim) be regarded as significantly more successful and more knowledgeable in his field than is Mr. Barford.

Mr. Barford's blog has become such a "broken record" on the subject of ancient coin collecting that I, like almost everyone else in the numismatic community, long ago stopped reading it.



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