The Market for Mesoamerica
Reflections on the Sale of Pre-Columbian Antiquities

Edited by Cara G. Tremain and Donna Yates

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Discussions on the illicit trafficking of precolonial cultural heritage items
“The book’s fresh insights break new paths of research in archaeological looting, the antiquities trade, and national and international heritage law.”—Anthropology Book Forum  
“An insightful and fascinating exploration. . . . Offers a cutting-edge analysis of the antiquities market that should be of interest to archaeologists, museum professionals, and art historians as well as criminologists and sociologists.”—Hispanic American Historical Review
“More than ever, the illicit trafficking and marketing of antiquities is putting at risk the preservation and valorization of cultural heritage. Addressing such relevant issues in the cultural context of Mesoamerica, this book provides fresh insights for understanding illegal or debatable treatment of cultural heritage.”—Davide Domenici, author of The Aztecs: History and Treasures of an Ancient Civilization  
“Provides, in more detail than anything previously published, an eye-opening account of the damage caused by the trading and collecting of Mesoamerican antiquities, and the legal and ethical conundrums it poses.”—Neil Brodie, coeditor of Archaeology, Cultural Heritage, and the Antiquities Trade  
Pre-Columbian artifacts are among the most popular items on the international antiquities market, yet it is becoming increasingly difficult to monitor these items as public, private, and digital sales proliferate. This timely volume explores past, current, and future policies and trends concerning the sales and illicit movement of artifacts from Mesoamerica to museums and private collections.   Informed by the fields of anthropology, economics, law, and criminology, contributors critically analyze practices of research and collecting in Central American countries. They assess the circulation of looted and forged artifacts on the art market and in museums and examine government and institutional policies aimed at fighting trafficking. They also ask if and how scholars can use materials removed from their context to interpret the past.  
The theft of cultural heritage items from their places of origin is a topic of intense contemporary discussion, and The Market for Mesoamerica updates our knowledge of this issue by presenting undocumented and illicit antiquities within a regional and global context. Through discussion of transparency, accountability, and ethical practice, this volume ultimately considers how antiquities can be protected and studied through effective policy and professional practice.  
Cara G. Tremain is an instructor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Langara College. Donna Yates is lecturer in antiquities trafficking and art crime at the Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research at the University of Glasgow.  
Contributors: Cara G. Tremain | Donna Yates | Martin Berger | Allison Davis | James Doyle | Rosemary Joyce | Nancy L. Kelker | Guido Krempel | Christina Luke | Sofia Paredes Maury | Adam Sellen
A volume in the series Maya Studies, edited by Diane Z. Chase and Arlen F. Chase     
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