The Fanatical Flatulist
Mr. Barford's Whois biography:
Joseph Pujol (June 1, 1857 – 1945) was a flatulist or professional farter, He was famous for his remarkable control of the abdominal muscles, which enabled him to seemingly fart at will.
There has never since been any performer who could compare with "Lepetomane." His stage name, which translates to "The Fart Maniac," and his ability to induce gales of hysterical laughter amongst the audience at the Moulin Rouge in Paris made him a nineteenth century celebrity who even toured the United States, demonstrating his unique talent .
No one, that is perhaps, until now -- for there is the uniquely provocative and insulting example of "Paul Barford and his amazing talking arsehole," as an outraged British metal detectorist once characterized the vilely vitriolic verbiage of that notorious archaeoblogger.
Mr. Barford rarely, if ever, presents a balanced picture of the true personas of those he attacks. This observer is among his favorite targets (e.g. "Deranged Dugup Dealer Dave" - one of the derogatory labels Barford has used, and "Heap-of-coins-on-a-table" - his contemptuous sneer at Classical Coins, among the most respected online dealerships in ancient coins. It refers to an image located here.).
Dorothy King (http://phdiva.blogspot.com/2010/11/going-too-far-paul-barford-blog.html) observes that Mr. Barford "tends to attack people, sometimes making personal attacks. He's obviously angered some people, as they've set up an anti-Paul Barford blog: "Paul Barford - Heritage - The Truth."
This observer and his wife have both been repeat victims of Barford's vindictive screeds, and what follows is quoted (and/or written) from a perspective shaped by extensive personal experience with this very unpleasant and unreasonable archaeo-fanatic.
Perhaps the most remarkable fact about Mr. Barford is the manner in which he insultingly attempts to castigate those who are (by any objective standard of judgement) very much his betters.
One egregious example of this misjudgement: his uncalled-for blog remarks directed toward Wayne Sayles and Peter Tompa, two individuals who have achieved far more in their careers than has Mr. Barford, who failed to matriculate from the Institute of Archaeology in London, a very well regarded institution. Mr. Barford practiced archaeological fieldwork for several years in Britain, however his abrasive personality perhaps might be the reason he was not reappointed.
He then moved to Poland, where he authored a very well-regarded book, "The Early Slavs : Culture and Society in Early Medieval Eastern Europe" (Oct 25, 2001).
Quoting the description of his book in amazon.com:
"More than 270 million people in Europe speak one of the many Slavic languages and dialects, but the origins and development of Slavic culture are still among the most difficult problems facing archaeologists. P.M. Barford's book is a remarkably comprehensive and accessible synthesis of the most recent archaeological discoveries, linguistic research, and literary-historical evidence about the origins of the Slavs. Much of this evidence, gleaned in the wake of recent political changes in Eastern Europe, has been unavailable in English.During the early medieval period, the Slavs expanded from their original homeland in the Ukraine to colonize vast areas and to found most of the modern nations in Eastern Europe. With first-hand knowledge of the archaeology and other research, P. M. Barford vividly portrays daily life in Eastern Europe from the early fifth to the end of the tenth century A.D., a period of profound transformation. Barford's rich and accessible survey provides the latest thinking on issues central to ongoing and sometimes fierce debates about the origins of various Slavic nations. For example: Was the first Russian state Slavic or Scandinavian? Was the first Bulgarian Empire Turkic or Slavic? Newly compiled maps and a generous number of illustrations chart the main cultural changes that took place over six centuries in the Slavic regions of Europe."
This was a significant and valuable contribution, although it hardly compares with the many numismatic publications of Wayne Sayles. It remains the only notable positive accomplishment of Mr. Barford's life.
His unbalanced, fiercely critical blog may also be viewed an accomplishment, in a sense similar to Hell being a place of importance. The damned souls tormented there are not mistreated any worse than coin collectors and metal detectorists are in Barford's blog.