Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Provenance Redux

ACCG Run by Story-Telling Clowns

by Paul Barford


UPDATE 29.09.13:
The clownish storytelling continues: "Mr. Barford's Provenance" (Sunday, September 29, 2013). The ACCG's Mr Welsh sets out his path of deduction which led to his first story and which, as have said, rather casts doubt on his powers of reasoning in general. 

He seems not to see any conflict in his (false) assertion that his subject allegedly "failed to matriculate  (he means graduate) from the Institute of Archaeology in London", yet within a few years "he became first an assistant lecturer at the Institute of Archaeology, University of Warsaw, and later was appointed as an Inspector of Ancient Monuments in the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of the Republic of Poland". He imagines I left both positions in 1989, because there is some kind of an "absence of any published account", I do not follow the logic there at all, there is none. He also regards it as significant whether I am digging at present or not (presumably for him on this hangs the use of the label "archaeologist"). Since he does not read Polish he will have missed the reports on my fieldwork well subsequent to 1989 date (and he missed the documented fact that while this blog has been in progress I have been absent doing archaeological fieldwork in Luxor, Egypt for four months in 2009, 2010 and 2011). But then, I do not think "digging" or "fieldwork" is the only thing archaeologists do. 

In answer to his last "point", I have never presented myself as an "expert", I write a blog, my blog is about an issue. I write it for myself, it can be read by those who want to read it, or can be ignored by those that do not. I really have no obligation to explain to anyone else any more than that, and nor do I intend to. I think there is more than enough about me on the internet already and, seeing the misuses unscrupulous people like the ACCG's Mr Welsh put it to, do not intend multiplying it. I feel absolutely no need to justify myself to the likes of Mr Welsh and Mr Tompa's sock-puppet-Houghton or their guffawing metal detectorist and pot-digging friends. 

UPDATE 7.10.13
As a kid I had one of those "wobbly men", on a hemispherical base that was weighted in such a way that it kept boucing up every time it was pushed over. Coineys have their own version, the "Davewelsh Wobbly Man". Here he is, regardless of what is true or not, again spouting forth the same wobblylibellous junk on Peter Tompa's blog.  
- Barford left the Institute of Archaeology in London without matriculating. 
Not a fact, can be checked in the Institute's journal where a summary of my dissertaion is published. Mr Welsh has not checked any facts, he's just making this up.
- I believe that he was later awarded a baccalaureate degree from the Institute of Archaeology, University of Warsaw.
Not a fact, Polish universities in this period did not offer such degrees (they do now). At the time I studied a five-year course led to a master's degree, which I was awarded before I started teaching there (documented in the Institute's prospectus for the time). Mr Welsh is ignorant of this.

-  Mr. Barford's expectations [...]  were thwarted by the fall of the Polish Communist regime
Not a fact, as for many people in Poland in 1989, funnily enough this was the beginning, not an end. 
As I said, Mr Welsh continues to make it up as he goes along, filling in what he does not know from his own wild imagination - totally divorced from the realities of place and time. Again, in any kind of writing history, context is all important, decontextualisation makes any attempt to write history pure fantasy. 

 This is US numismatic "professionalism" folks, at its very best and worst. These are the people running the ACCG. 


Mr. Barford continues to display an obsessive concern with "misrepresentation" (by detectorists and numismatists) of his educational attainments, experience and accomplishments as a field archaeologist in the UK, his 1986 move to Poland and his activities and accomplishments since.

It is certainly understandable that members of the metal detecting and numismatic communities -- being incessantly, unpleasantly and (in their view) unjustly criticized by Mr. Barford -- desire to know his qualifications for posing as an expert archaeologist, and venting so much bilious anti-detecting and anti-collecting spleen in his notorious PACHI blog.

Notable members of the numismatic community have been singled out in Barford's blog screeds, with pejorative and insulting labels attached to their names, and derogatory images inserted. Examples include Wayne Sayles, Peter Tompa and Arthur Houghton, each of whom has a very distinguished reputation and high standing in his field.

Mr. Barford, conversely, has written one book, a number of journal articles -- and a notorious blog -- without ever discovering anything of archaeological importance, or gaining respect from archaeologists familiar with the details of his brief career as an archaeologist.  

Many of those who have been the targets of  Mr. Barford's invective have come to believe that there must be some compelling reason for his obsession for keeping details of his past private. What, they wonder, happened that he so intensely desires to conceal? Why does Barford refuse to publish a  detailed and factual curriculum vitae, such as every reputable scientist and scholar does?

This observer is not among those who imagine that there is anything discreditable in Mr. Barford's past, believing instead that his rather brief career as an archaeologist simply does not support his present pretensions to be regarded as an expert commentator.

 Speculation regarding Mr. Barford's actual credentials will continue, in various forms and forums, until a curriculum vitae is published.



Blogger John H said...

I'm afraid Paul Barford is the Cross collectors and detectorists must bear. It's probable he didn't realize when he set out on his quest that he would encounter opponents far more brighter, with greater integrity than he possesses, or ever likely to acquire.

One has only to look at his moral compass that allows him to use a cancer victim to score points against others who do not agree with his views. Your wife's diagnosis of Barford says it all.


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