“…a window dressing exercise in cynicism or it’s a masterpiece of incompetence.”

Now it’s ‘fake science’

The more dedicated purveyors of ‘fake’ news in the anti-collecting/detecting camp got a sharp shock by a damming report from the influential US Committee for Cultural Policy (CfCP), the content of which reinforces the facts that dealers and collectors are not the heritage villains some in the heritage circus working to private anti-collecting agendas would have the world believe. Now the rabble-rousing street-corner vendors have moved on to ‘fake’ or ‘bogus’ science, led by a couple of loutish, anti-metal detecting know-nothings, in what bears all the hallmarks of a face-saving exercise to breathe life into the corpse of conjecture (read here, fake science).

The CfCP’s report, ‘Bearing False Witness: The Media, ISIS and Antiquities’, (https://committeeforculturalpolicy.org/…/CCP-Bearing-False-Witness-The-Media-ISIS…) exposes the trickery the heritage circus’ self-anointed commissars use in trying to prove a negative.

However, when it comes to the same old guessing game about the ersatz threat posed to the heritage by the hobby of metal-detecting, the ‘paper’ [i] “Quantitative analysis of open-source data on metal detecting for cultural property: Estimation of the scale and intensity of metal detecting and the quantity of metal-detected cultural goods,” is in a class of its own.

The more astute will have noticed – in the title – the word ‘Estimation.’ It’s conspicuous in this rambling and somewhat pompous, “open-source data on metal detecting for cultural property,” rendering it an utterly worthless piece of anti-metal detecting propaganda that to my mind, shames heritologists everywhere if it’s intended as an example of scholarly research.  It appears to me at least, this derisory ‘paper’ is either a window dressing exercise in cynicism or it’s a masterpiece of incompetence.

Bogus Science

I invite you to read it and compare its estimated figures to the official figures of the Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS). Manifestly, it falls headlong into the elephant trap that is the Artefact Erosion Counter (AEC), as did the Council for British Archaeology (CBA), who also gave this baloney it’s tacit approval. The  widely mocked and totally discredited AEC is arguably the most derisory cock-and-bull archaeological testimony ever foisted on an unsuspecting public since the Piltdown Man debacle.

In its opening paragraphs, the ‘paper’ unintentionally destroys outright, the AEC’s claims and accuracy: “We do not even know “fundamental information” about its practice [metal detecting. JH] as a legal hobby, such as “how many people actively metal detect, or how often, and we do not know exactly what they find.” The genie is out of the bottle.

But the elephant in the archaeological room is the inescapable question: “What reliance can anyone place on anything from an archaeological source, if one is to be certain that it’s not guesstimation?” Er…not much it seems.

[i] See www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/23311886.2017.1298397.



“Narcissism falls along the axis of what psychologists call personality disorders, one of a group that includes antisocial, dependent, histrionic, avoidant and borderline personalities. But by most measures, narcissism is one of the worst, if only because the narcissists themselves are so clueless.” – Jeffrey Kluger




















6 thoughts on ““…a window dressing exercise in cynicism or it’s a masterpiece of incompetence.”

  1. Of course, the genie is out of the bottle and we all know what these people are up to. That said, I’ve offered Barford a link to my blog, provided of course he conducts himself in an educated, civil, and well-mannered way. Any of his usual histrionics, insults, or failing to raise his debate above that of an uncultured Russian peasant trying hard to be an academic, and he gets the Bum’s Rush.

    He lacks manners and self-control. I hope he will control his demons and act accordingly.


    • Hi Dick:
      You’re off the Chrissy card list too!
      Well Barfly’s made so many visits to my blog (nine in a day) I thought a link would be helpful to him. His reply to my generous offer was not only ill-mannered but unsurprisingly uneducated. Small wonder he’s banned from many blogs.

      If he’s a specimen of what it takes to become an archaeologist, or specialist translator (presumably English to Rubbish) then compared to him, most Tekkies are over-qualified were they to apply for similar positions. What a complete naïve fool he is; but nevertheless, he remains great ‘sport’ for us more educated intellects.

      He could have made so much more of what talent he possesses rather than become the undistinguished non-entity he is. I suspect that superior intellectuals use him to fire the ‘bullets’ they won’t.

      Imagine that your country is in the hands of a foreign power. Imagine that the fight to liberate and reinstate democracy when some foreigner turns up from the Free West and instead of helping you, sides and takes money and position from the oppressors. What would you call that? Had I been in such a hypothetical situation, I’d have executed the ‘foreigner’ on liberation.


  2. I have read the “Bearing False Witness: The Media, ISIS and Antiquities” report. Hoo boy, that’s tossed some distinct “egg-on-the-face” of the private Anti-Anti knot-heads and their school girl hysterics. Loved it! A very well done and right to the point report, and indeed “…exposes the trickery the heritage circus’ self-anointed commissars use in trying to prove a negative.” Well done all around…good show! Meanwhile, deep in the dark caverns of the Evil Metal Detecting Mountains, I see the readership of my blog from very specific points on the globe is increasing…I am well pleased and excited how popular it is becoming (Paste Smiley Face Here)! Cheers John!


    • Hi Jim:
      It’s a real eye-opener and ought to be compulsory reading for all Tekkies. Talking of which, take a look at US Lawyer Peter Tompa’s Cultural Property Observer blog.

      He’s one of the few who hasn’t had the archaeological wool pulled over his eyes. An internationally renowned and respected numismatist, predictably, Peter is a hate figure for the anti-collecting liars and tricksters.


      Liked by 2 people

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