A John Howland Update…


If you’ve ever wondered why the PAS and detectorist-hating Paul Barford, who describes himself as an archaeologist living in Poland, is such a buffoon and seemingly incapable of reporting simplest facts (God knows what his excavation reports contained!), then this shining example of his turgid, tabloid style of sensationalism, taken from his preposterous blog should provide the answers.

“Wednesday, 21 January 2015

A Portable Antiquities Scam in Parliament

Tim Loughton (East Worthing and Shoreham, Conservative) asks the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the Portable Antiquities Scheme. Hansard source (Citation: HC Deb, 20 January 2015, cW)

Mr Vaizey acts like he did not understand the question, and dodged the issue:

I have made no formal assessment of the effectiveness of the Portable Antiquities Scheme.

He then goes through the official spiel about what the PAS “does”. Bonkers, bonkers Britain. That’s like asking “how effective British hospitals are” and instead of hearing some statistics on waiting lists and patient-doctor ratios, being told by the health minister that a hospital is where ill people go to get better and they provide opportunities for the British public to learn about their illnesses and so on…”


What the Minister, Ed Vaizey ACTUALLY said was:-

I have made no formal assessment of the effectiveness of the Portable Antiquities Scheme. The Portable Antiquities Scheme, through its network of Finds Liaison Officers, does an outstanding job in encouraging the voluntary recording of archaeological objects found by members of the public. Since 1997 more than one million finds have been recorded in this way and made publicly available online through the Scheme. The Scheme also has an important educational role and allows children and adults alike to learn about archaeology, get involved, and discover the past. The Scheme is managed by the British Museum and funded through DCMS’s grant-in-aid to the British Museum, with local partner contributions. The funding allocation for the Portable Antiquities Scheme for the period between 2011/12 and 2014/15 has been ring-fenced with the funding reduction over this period minimised to less than 5%.”

Hardly the picture Barford would have us all believe. Still, his economy with the truth is hardly surprising, given Barford’s hapless expedition into the realms of bullshit in the shape of the widely and now thoroughly discredited Artefact Erosion Counter. I am told that it caused guffaws in certain Whitehall corridors.

TAKE A GOOD LOOK at Barford’s behaviour, Mr Vaizey. Hardly surprising for someone who left the Free West to work for the Communist regime in Poland in 1986. Do YOU really want to entrust the exploitation of the archaeological record to him? Take a good look and decide what you think about that as a “policy”.




1 Comment

Filed under Metal Detecting

One response to “A John Howland Update…

  1. Fate Can be so Cruel to the Gobby! The Curse of King Tut Strikes Again!

    Over recent weeks, metal detecting’s arch-hater, the acid-tongued Paul Barford ( an undistinguished, self-styled archaeologist) has been in overdrive slagging-off everyone connected with the discovery of the magnificent Lenborough Hoard of Saxon silver coins, especially the hapless FLO who has come in for more than her fair share of Barford’s ungallant bile.

    However, while Barford’s been yapping like a puppy at the good folk of Lenborough, within the past few days it’s come to light that bungling, cack-handed staff at Cairo’s Egyptian Museum, have caused irreparable damage to what is arguably the most priceless artefact in history – King Tutankhamun’s funerary mask.

    It seems that while changing light bulbs in the glass case that houses the mask, maintenance men dislodged the mask’s blue and gold braided beard. A team of the museum’s conservators replaced the beard by sticking it back with epoxy resin glue, the kind of stuff best used for repairing the handle on grandma’s coffee pot. But they squeezed too much out of the tube! Then in what only be described as a scene from a Laurel and Hardy film, attempted to CHISEL off the blob of the now hardened glue causing even more damage.

    The museum’s Dr Abel-Hamid al Kafafi is widely reported as uttering the words that must surely rank alongside, “Houston, we have a problem,” in the realms of understatement……” “The five people assigned to re-attach the beard clearly lacked experience.”

    What does our chum Barford have to say about this debacle? Er….um…er…nothing so far. The silence deafens.

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