@samarkeolog Twitter archive: illicit antiquities trade elsewhere

Partly to help me (publicly) archive material from before my @conflictantiq Twitter feed on looting and destruction of cultural and community property, partly to help me clarify (for myself) what I want to document on it, I’ve copied-and-pasted(-and-hyperlinked) the (immediately or otherwise) relevant material from my @samarkeolog Twitter feed (on professional, Balkan and Mediterranean matters).

It was a huge time sink; but I am utterly dedicated to uneconomic(al) activity.

@samarkeolog tweets on the illicit antiquities trade elsewhere (than Cyprus, Greece, Turkey and West Africa – Mali and Nigeria) are here.

illicit antiquities trade: subsistence digging, policing, etc.

‘Intelligence’ body set to fight illicit trade in treasures’ (@NBCNewsWorld, 14th November 2012)

Looting boosted’ (@heritagevoices, 11th January 2012)

@samarkeolog I guess that is the rub. The idea that only through engaging in several different income streams can one subsist!’ (@DrDonnaYates, 5th November 2012)

@DrDonnaYates but if it’s incidental, is it subsistence or supplement; &how functional could a truly incidental trade be?’ (@samarkeolog, 4th November 2012)

@DrDonnaYates but if it’s incidental, is it subsistence or supplement; &how functional could a truly incidental trade be? (@samarkeolog, 4th November 2012)

@DrDonnaYates yeah; &I imagine similar in South Asian jungle too, etc.; I’m only thinking that it would be geographically-ltd term’ (@samarkeolog, 4th November 2012)

@DrDonnaYates ‘ (@samarkeolog, 4th November 2012)

@samarkeolog Well, to be fair much of what I’m talking about are in national protected areas. People live there. eg: [Sistema Guatemalteco de Areas Protegidas]’ (@DrDonnaYates, 4th November 2012)

@samarkeolog Entirety of jungle cent. and south america. Incidental options, what one comes across while engaging in ‘normal’ econ activity’ (@DrDonnaYates, 4th November 2012)

@samarkeolog No no! Just character limited on twitter’ (@DrDonnaYates, 4th November 2012)

@DrDonnaYates I like that your imagined coping economy is entirely criminal :)’ (@samarkeolog, 4th November 2012)

@DrDonnaYates I think “coping economies” works where it applies, but I don’t know in how many places poor people have so many options’ (@samarkeolog, 4th November 2012)

@DrDonnaYates national park economies? ;)’ (@samarkeolog, 4th November 2012)

@samarkeolog I got it frm Neil. Im thinking a situation where one would poach a jaguar or orchid or loot a pot based on need/accessibility’ (@DrDonnaYates, 4th November 2012)

@DrDonnaYates I’ll let “coping economies” roll about inside my head and see how it feels’ (@samarkeolog, 3rd November 2012)

@DrDonnaYates “coping economies” captures ppl turning their hands2things as opportunity allows, but maybe implies more flexibility than is?’ (@samarkeolog, 3rd November 2012)

@samarkeolog ‘economic duress’ is an interesting term, one to think about. I’ve been trying out ‘coping economies’ but am not sure it works’ (@DrDonnaYates, 2nd November 2012)

‘a note on digging antiquities in economic duress‘ (2nd November 2012)

@samarkeolog agree. And insurers do alas pay ransoms too which adds to “value”‘ (@DorothyKing, 22nd October 2012)

‘agree w @sauterne: can’t say famous stolen art has no value (which misleads investigation); it functions in alt economy‘ (22nd October 2012)

‘International cooperation slowly producing results: an example of Franco-Belgian cooperation on religious artifacts‘ (@artcrimeHQ, 15th September 2012)

‘Read2books starring Ilyushin Il-76 & Antonov An-12 (bastard planes that piss on my lovely overland smuggling route maps from great height)’ (11th June 2012)

‘ty @brennawalks for @DanielCull on #twigging – tweaking (taking meth/methamphetamine) and digging (looting artefacts)’ (12th May 2012 [8th April 2012])

‘Hour-long lecture by 2011 SAFE Beacon Award recipient Jason Felch on the illicit antiquities trade‘ (@saveantiquities, 9th May 2012)

@electricarchaeo hopefully I’ll get to blog on the, shudder, “multi-commodity” trade properly at some point’ (26th March 2012)

‘Now, to blog looting in Nigeria; then in Mali; then in Somaliland (though won’t surpass Sada Mire (@SomaliHeritage) somaliheritage.org)’ (26th March 2012)

‘Why are many countries in #Africa vulnerable to #looting, and how can they defend themselves?’ (24th March 2012)

‘2/2 are antiquities smaller part of org crime than archaeologists think; run separately from other commodities; controlled by alt networks?’ (@samarkeolog, 10th January 2012)

‘1/2 talk of org crim control of illicit antiquities trade but v few refs to it in @JohnDickie1 @MishaGlenny @robertosaviano @tonythompson10‘ (@samarkeolog, 10th January 2012)

‘for a module on crowdsourcing & antiquity, I’ve created “Looted Heritage“, a crowdmap.com installation’ (@electricarchaeo, 2nd January [9th January 2012])

‘*quite* significant > MT @ChasingAphrodit Continued possession of unprovenanced antiquities could be criminal liability’ (6th December 2011 [5th December 2011])

‘Profits from all trafficked forced laborers per year amount to $31.6 billion, thats 5X larger than the annual estimates for art crime’s size’ (@arttheft, 22nd October 2011)

‘MT @ChasingAphrodit b4indicted4conspiracy2traffic, then Getty curator Marion True denounced museum collecting practices‘ (5th October 2011)

‘Stamping out the illicit trade in cultural artifacts | Mark Vlasic via @guardian‘ (@brennawalks, 7th August 2011)

student activism on illicit antiquities trade’ (28th January 2011)

‘Setting the Price Point for Stolen Art: Noah Charney was interviewed by Kai Ryssdal of Marketplace’ (@ARCA_artcrime, 26th October 2010 – original tweet’s link cut, but ‘Charney argues that the majority of art theft after World War II can be traced to organized crime syndicates, and that the media actually helps set the price point for the black market transfer of high profile works of art’)

Afghanistan: illicit antiquities trade

Stolen from Afghanistan, found in … Munich, which seems to be a theme’ (@DorothyKing, 6th July 2012)

‘Hard cash vs. heritage in Afghanistan‘ (@archaeologynews, 18th November 2011)

Looted antiquities funds illegal operations‘ (@geoffreymsmith, 24th June 2010)

‘Schøyen Collection’s looted, smuggled Buddhist manuscripts‘ (30th November 2009)

Britain: illicit antiquities trade

Arrests in the Fitzwilliam Theft’ (@derekfincham, 3rd May 2012)

‘2/2 cultural imperialists excuse ‘safekeeping’ of illicit antiquities; but safe places vulnerable to theft – &incompetence/negligence – too’ (21st April 2012)

‘1/2 Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, UK: alarm system silent, not connected to police; no guards in museum(?) v @arttheft‘ (21st April 2012)

Cambodia: illicit antiquities trade

Prosecution claims Sotheby’s “deliberately looked the other way” in case on stolen Cambodian statue’ (@saveantiquities, 22nd August 2012)

‘Don’t mention the feet! I mentioned them once, but I think I got away with it. #Cambodia #looting & academic collusion‘ (6th April 2012)

scholar to Sotheby’s: statue ‘stolen’, so don’t ‘mention the feet’ (which are still at crime scene) v @ChasingAphrodit’ (5th April 2012)

‘Insider Emails Reveal Sotheby’s Was Warned Khmer Statue Was “Definitely Stolen“‘ (@ChasingAphrodit, 5th April 2012)

Egypt: illicit antiquities trade

‘Looting at el-Hibeh, Egypt. “Abou Atia has a bulldozer & men with guns, dynamite; currently digging the tombs”‘ (@looted_heritage, 10th March 2012 [11th March 2012])

Security finds antiquities at farmer’s house (Egypt Independent, 8th June 2011) [‘This story shows how the looting of antiquities can overlap with other black-market activities’ (@ChasingAphrodit, 9th June 2011]

Blue Shield Issues Independent Report on Antiquities Situation in Egypt (24th February 2011) [‘At last, an independent, third-party report on archaeological sites in Egypt. Egyptian Museum still being inventoried’ (@CultureGrrl, 24th February 2011]

‘UNESCO calls on art dealers and collectors to be on the alert for stolen Egyptian artefacts‘ (15th February 2011)

Fire bombs thrown at protesters and the Egyptian museum as well. The army is trying to put out the fire. #Egypt #Jan25′ (@AJELive, 2nd February 2011)

‘Anti Mubarak protestors asking army to protect museum because they think there is a plot to loot it via @salmasaid‘ (@ElBiritaany, 2nd February 2011)

‘Egyptian Revolution: how to get past government internet block‘ / ‘Αιγύπτιοι! Πώς να ξεπεράσετε τον φραγμό της κυβέρνησης στο ίντερνετ!’ (1st February 2011)

‘Egyptian Revolution: government thugs looting democracy protesters’ communities, museums’ (31st January 2011)

Sifting through the layers in Egypt (@brennawalks, 30th January 2011) [‘note on Egyptian looting from archaeologist who cut her teeth working there; or, cut other people’s teeth working there’ (31st January 2011)]

‘Does anyone know anyone in customs, borders agency, etc.? They need to be on alert for looted Egyptian antiquities‘ (30th January 2011)

‘thousands of democracy protesters protecting Egyptian Museum from looting risk (via @AJEnglish via @evanchill via @AJArabic) #jan25 #jan28′ (28th January 2011)

Iraq: illicit antiquities trade

‘Wikileaks Provides Evidence Linking Illicit Iraqi Antiquities to Weapons Sales‘ (@LarryChicago, 25th October 2010)

An inquiry into the provenance of 654 Aramaic incantation bowls delivered into the possession of UCL by, or on the instruction of, Mr Martin Schøyen [‘Wikileaks: Schøyen suppressed, UCL incantation bowls report published’ (12th November 2009)]

‘recently looted UCL Incantation Bowls: suppressed report findings revealed‘ (8th November 2009)

‘Lord Renfrew on UCL incantation bowls’ (30th October 2009)

Israel/Palestine: illicit antiquities trade

#pricetag #Israel extremists desecrated Muslim & Christian graves on #dayofatonement #YomKippur @guardiannews‘ (9th October 2011)

Dead Sea Scrolls’ collection history, and Schoyen Collection’s history’ (28th November 2009)

Italy: illicit antiquities trade

‘#Italy #looting RT @kleanza Tomb raiders lead to new #archaeological find’ (22nd October 2012)

‘Il supermercato archeologico della Camorra‘ (@ChasingAphrodit, 17th March 2012)

Libya: illicit antiquities trade

‘The Libyan Job: Insiders Used War to Steal Priceless Artifacts’ (@arttheft, 16th March 2012)

‘Libyan #archaeology pres: “When I said, ‘don’t touch them’, [rebels] stopped” vandalism b4 ancient via @ChasingAphrodit‘ (12th September 2011)

Libyan Whispers about looting: twice the churnalists, twice the trouble’ (5th September 2011)

@ScienceInsider should Sologubovsky be IDed as journalist, or pro-Gaddafi, pro-Assad lobby group publicist?’ (3rd September 2011)

‘Libya: looting claims rejected; propaganda accusations not denied‘ (3rd September 2011)

‘Libya: bombing, looting; lobbying and churnalism‘ (29th August 2011)

Netherlands: illicit antiquities trade

‘#Kunsthal worse than #Olympia RT @MutualArt Rotterdam gallery had no on-site security guards on night of art theft’ (22nd October 2012)

‘#Kunsthal as bad as #Olympia: gallery’s hi-tech security cameras got no useable images of art theft v @MutualArt‘ (22nd October 2012)

Poland: illicit antiquities trade

Auschwitz death camp sign theft: neo-Nazi Anders Hoegstroem jailed’ (31st December 2010)

Swedish alleged neo-Nazi and in-it-for-the-money Polish helpers charged with Auschwitz death camp sign theft’ (26th November 2010)

‘Auschwitz sign theft: British neo-Nazi antiquities collector funding Swedish neo-Nazi terrorism’ (4th January 2010)

‘Auschwitz sign theft: illicit antiquities trade funding Swedish neo-Nazi terrorism‘ (30th December 2009)

‘Auschwitz “Arbeit Macht Frei” robbery: right-wing private antiquities collectors?‘ (21st December 2009)

‘Auschwitz sign theft: neo-Nazis, or right-wing private antiquities collectors?‘ (21st December 2009)

Auschwitz sign stolen; found’ (21st December 2009)

Sri Lanka: illicit antiquities trade

Harsher punishment for artefact thieves (28th August 2012) [”these are villagers… drawn into [#looting] by some moneyed bosses. It appears that they somehow get away’ #SriLanka’ (1st September 2012)]

Syria: illicit antiquities trade

‘@MattPotter & #Syria regime deal, so their allied gangs might race to loot most quickest; or they might both profit off same antiquities…’ (@samarkeolog, 16th September 2012)

‘&Assad regime is (allegedly) at least antiquities dealing “to pay the shabiha [hired thugs]”‘ (15th September 2012)

‘Free Syrian Army allies (allegedly) building antiquities #looting association to fund revolution against Assad regime’ (15th September 2012)

‘Syrian looter: “War is good for us… We buy antiquities cheap, and then sell weapons expensively.”‘ (@ChasingAphrodit, 13th September 2012 [12th September 2012])

Gangs Eyeing #Syria #Antiquities, similar networks operated in #Iraq and #Libya #archaeology #looting’ (@Benjwestwood, 15th March 2012)


  • I didn’t include ambiguous tweets, mid-event tweets, etc.
  • I removed incomplete sentences added by automatic tweet generators.
  • I converted in-tweet links into hyperlinked text.
  • I didn’t provide the permalink to my own tweets of links, because it would’ve meant a flood of unnecessary links and “@samarkeolog”s (and swallowed even more time).
  • Because my early tweets’ links weren’t clickable, I copied-and-pasted all of the tweets themselves (rather than links for embedding), but it’s far, far too time-consuming to continue to do that.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: