To the rest of mankind they are instead likely to bring to mind thoughts of rabid dogs running about seeking someone to bite, in order to spread their affliction.
It would be wrong to convey an impression that Paul Barford is important. He is not now (nor was he ever) taken seriously as an archaeologist by anyone of significance in that field. However, his volume of blog posts and their content are so extreme as to furnish a very useful and instructive example of archaeomania.
Like a lightning rod he has extended his cyberpresence up far beyond other parts of the archaeological blogosphere, to such a rarified height of extremism as to attract not only supporters but also (and more importantly) opponents. Constant, deliberate, provocative offensiveness is the point at the tip of Barford's nasty cyberpresence, designed to maximize tension and hopefully, to attract a strike. His psychological compulsions are gratified by attracting opponents, calling them out by postings in his blog calculated to provoke as much controversy as possible. He glorifies being hated, measuring "success" by the growing number of Barford-haters and the intensity of their animadversions. His blog slyly masquerades as informed commentary, however it is not really a forum for anything other than propaganda. He provided a very useful example of this in responding to a comment I submitted to one of his posts:
"I really do not know what Dealer Dave Welsh imagines he is doing sending a comment about hoards to this blog.
When I was told he was seriously ill, several months ago, I sent him two messages of concern and support, neither of which was acknowledged, fair enough. But when he recovers his health his reaction was to publish verbatim on his blog a text copied and pasted from a metal detectorist's blog which he considers to be "this brilliant bit of analysis" (that I leave up to the reader to judge): http://classicalcoins.blogspot.com/2014/12/mr-congeniality.html.
However I am blocked from replying on his blog - as is the case with all the ACCG blogs, Tompa, Sayles. ... Instead of discussion of the issues, the intellectual legacy of Dave Welsh is to drop to detectorist-level and continue to use his "Ancient Coins" blog as a means merely to launch a number of small-minded ad hominem attacks.
Welsh now apparently wants to exhibit his ancient-coiney pseud-erudition by telling us all where hoards occur in the archaeological record, acting as if he wants a normal discussion while elsewhere showing that it is the last thing he wants. He can do that on his own blog, not mine while he continues to act in this manner.
As for his views appended to the comment on how I "should" treat artefact hunters and collectors on this blog, for the nine hundredth and forty fourth (or fifth) time, this blog is about collectors, not for them. OK? Comment rejected."