I wonder why there is no reading list on "portable antiquity issues" for public benefit on the PAS website? A text called "Congenial Bedfellows? The Academy and the Antiquities Trade" points out that not only has the role of "facilitating actions of academic experts" previously been overlooked in studying the antiquities trade (and here the PAS certainly is a prime culprit). It argues that "academic expertise is indispensable for the efficient functioning of the trade" and suggests that:
a knowledge-based ethical environment for academic practice would allow scholars to make more informed choices about the propriety or otherwise of their involvement with the trade.I would broaden that to "with artefact hunting" as the two are inextricably related. In such a situation, is it not a hindrance that Britain's mega-million public funded outreach Scheme for dealing with portable antiquities issues does not have on its website a section where the public who pay for it can find information on the issues surrounding collecting of archaeological artefacts? A search of this "resource" will not bring up even a smidgen of information for the general public who pay for it can find information on the issues surrounding collecting of archaeological artefacts (except the section on "how to buy antiquities"). Where is the bibliography containing the link to that article? Nowhere. The PAS do not consider it part of their 14-million-quid outreach to provide such a basic piece of information even as a few dozen bibliographic references, so if the PAS is not going to do it in Britain, who is? (see the 1970 UNESCO Convention article 10).
On what basis are archaeologists at present in Britain making their decisions to make more informed choices about the propriety or otherwise of their involvement with artefact hunting and the trade? Certainly, I would suggest, nothing balanced coming from the PAS. the latter just present one side (the 'propaganda of [their own] success') of the story.
Where, after fourteen years of so-called "outreach" and fourteen million pounds of public money thrown at it is the PAS bibliography of Portable Antiquity Collecting ISSUES?