Thursday, September 19, 2013

Let's turn the volume down

"The Barford Song"

This bit of disreputable doggerel says something unpleasant about the resentment (and perhaps even hatred) that the metal-detectorist community feels toward Mr. Barford and his constant sniping criticism. In the end it does their cause no credit, tending instead to create an  impression that some metal-detectorists perhaps are not very nice people.

It is remarkable however, that Warsaw document translator and sometime archaeologist Barford (with a rather brief UK fieldwork career and one book to his credit) has stirred up such bitter controversy and strife with his PACHI blog, and excited such intense resentment as this.

Mr. Barford apparently believes the old Hollywood publicist's adage that "all publicity is good." His caustic, confrontational criticism and sarcasm directed toward metal-detectorists, antiquities collectors and dealers does keep his controversial views constantly in the news.

Comments upon these views (and his confrontational approach) are, however, overwhelmingly negative -- raising real doubt whether his utterances actually help to achieve the goals he professes.

Mr. Barford would more effectively advance his cause if he would turn the volume down, and focus on shedding more real light upon the goal of creating a practical provenancing system for ancient artifacts, instead of drowning (as he presently does) every attempt at balanced discussion in a flood of distracting and unnecessary heat.