"The looting of archaeological sites and museums has recently been brought vividly to public attention. In this book, many of the world's experts on the subject examine the extent of the problem, how trafficking in illicit artifacts is carried out, and what can be done to save our cultural heritage."--Ellen Herscher, contributing editor, Archaeology magazine
Archaeological artifacts have become a traded commodity in large part because the global reach of Western society allows easy access to the world's archaeological heritage. Acquired by the world's leading museums and private collectors, antiquities have been removed from archaeological sites, monuments, or cultural institutions and illegally traded. This collection of essays by world-recognized experts investigates the ways that com-modifying artifacts fuels the destruction of archaeological heritage and considers what can be done to protect it. Despite growing national and international legislation to protect cultural heritage, increasing numbers of archaeological sites--among them, war-torn Afghanistan and Iraq--are subject to pillage as the monetary value of artifacts rises. Offering comprehensive examinations of archaeological site looting, the antiquities trade, the ruin of cultural heritage resources, and the international efforts to combat their destruction, the authors argue that the antiquities market impacts cultural heritage around the world and is a burgeoning global crisis.
Neil Brodie is research director of the Illicit Antiquities Research Centre at the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, University of Cambridge. Morag M. Kersel, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Cambridge, is studying the legal trade of antiquities in the Middle East. Christina Luke is a research fellow in the department of archaeology at Boston University. Kathryn Walker Tubb is a lecturer in cultural heritage studies and conservation in the Institute of Archaeology, University College, London.
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This outstanding volume is a must-read for any scholar interested in museums, cultural heritage, and the traffic in illegal antiquities.
…superb, valuable, and balanced…this outstanding volume is a must-read for any scholar interested in museums, cultural heritage, and the traffic in illegal antiquities.
An invaluable addition to the growing literature and emerging field of scholarship on questions related to heritage preservation. Highly Recommended.