In the opening editorial of the Journal of Field Archaeology, James Wiseman ("Editorial Comment", JFA 1, 1/2  1-2 [JSTOR]) wrote:
The section of the journal called "Perspectives"is open to all readers and the readers are encouraged to comment on, or even challenge, the studies published here or elsewhere, or to write on any archaeological topic. "The Antiquities Market" reflects another central interest of the Association for Field Archaeology; it will provide a forum for commentary on the illicit traffic in antiquities.Later in the same number is the first of a series of sections on the "Antiquities Market" (pp. 215-24 [JSTOR]). This informs us in the heading section:
The Antiquities Market will be a regular feature of the Journal of Field Archaeology. Its aim is to provide just what is stated in the sub-title: news and commentary on the illicit traffic in antiquities. The presence of this feature in the Journal reflects one of the central concerns of the Association for Field Archaeology, that is, the proper recovery and the protection of antiquities.The JFA has a distinguished record of presenting the current debate in this area and I feel honoured to have had my research with Christopher Chippindale appear in its pages (see abstract).
Nathan Elkins has written an important piece on the presentation of coins in the classroom (see my comments specifically on this article with a reminder that it was one in a series). The introductory essay by Morag M. Kersel and Christina Luke states,
Public outreach is one of the most undervalued aspects of our work and yet it is one of the most important things we do. Nathan Elkins' article about the Ancient Coins for Education (ACE) program illustrates the importance of such efforts.This is why it is surprising to see the ill-informed response of a Washington lobbyist and lawyer, Peter Tompa, to Elkins' piece. Not only has Tompa not read Elkins' article ("I must confess I have not read his work") but the fact that this research appears in an academic article (published by Boston University) merely draws the statement, "Elkins' article is not readily available to those not associated with the university culture for free and I don't want to spend any money to get it". (See comments by Paul Barford.)
Tompa, it should be remembered, is a Director of the Cultural Property Research Institute (CPRI) that has so far acheived the production of a seriously flawed and unreferenced interim report. Tompa's name is also attached to the legal papers relating to the "Baltimore Coin Affair".
Tompa, never reluctant to show his lack of knowledge in these areas, has now turned his attack to the Journal of Field Archaeology in a provocatively entitled piece, "Is the Journal of Field Archaeology now just another propoganda [sic.] tool in the cultural property wars?". Tompa writes:
Unfortunately, it thus appears that the Journal of Field Archaeology has departed from its original scholarly mission in favor of becoming just another propaganda tool in the culture property wars.If Tompa was at all observant, he would have noticed that this area of research has been a central area of JFA's publication record since its first number over a quarter of a century ago.
Is Tompa really this ignorant of cultural property matters? What does it tell us about the CPRI? What does it tell us about Tompa's role in the CPAC Review of Article II of the MOU with Italy? What does it say about the way that Tompa sees conspiracies where they do not exist? What does it say about the "quality" of his "research"?