Archive for May, 2014


Conflict Antiquities: the book – a proposal for a proposal

Six months after I was encouraged, I’ve managed to make a change. It hasn’t taken six months in itself. I’ve been writing up previous work, conducting new research, giving advice concerning an emergency… As I explain here, I’m now undertaking my first long-term project as a self-employed cultural property security analyst – a book on the looting and trafficking of antiquities from conflict zones.

Conflict Antiquities will explore historic cases and new research to reveal who profits from the plunder, and how we can challenge the crime and the violence that it funds. The book will look at people on the sharp end of the antiquities trade – the lives of the people who are driven to dig up and sell off their own past to survive in or escape from war zones, and the works of the armed groups who make out like bandits on the backs of those impoverished and insecure local communities.


the material culture of labour exploitation and resistance in Soma

For reasons that I’ll reveal tomorrow, this is the last of this kind of post that I’ll be doing, I think. I’m sure that all a few of them will still be too long to read, and that all a few of them will spend as much time discussing the background as documenting people’s struggles, but there won’t be (m)any regarding struggles over and through archaeology and history. They will (primarily) be about the looting and smuggling of antiquities from conflict zones…

So, here, I want to consider a place that the archaeology of life became the archaeology of death, and everyday objects became political symbols in an extraordinary struggle: Soma.

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Is it possible to protect public sources? Can it be ethical not to cite public sources?

When I blogged about Occupy Gezi: Archaeologists at Gezi Park, Archaeologists on the Barricades, the Turkish state was persecuting (social) media users, so I translated and shared their material online, archived their original material offline and marked their sources as “(P)” – protected. But now I’m working on publishing it “properly”.

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‘A masterpiece in political propaganda’ and a futile exercise in archaeological blogging

Doug Rocks-Macqueen (@openaccessarch) and Chris Webster (@ArcheoWebby) have meticulously (and patiently, up-to-the-last-minute) edited an open access book on blogging archaeology.

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appeal for information on cultural property that needs to be protected in Ukraine

The U.S.A. and its allies are preparing for any eventuality in the crisis in Ukraine, including military action; so, they are preparing to avoid and protect cultural property. People should not read too much into this activity: it is a requirement of the 1954 Hague Convention, and it is not only done when there will be military action, but it is a sign that intervention is a serious possibility.

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