Archive for July 15th, 2015


the ‘first material proof’ that Islamic State is trafficking antiquities

As Iraqia TV correspondent Amir Musawy scooped and SWR reporter Esther Saoub @esaoub translated, the United States has given ‘#antiquities to #Iraq, that [were] seized with #ISIS commander Abu Sayyaf in #Syria’; it is the ‘first material proof that #ISIS is engaged in #antiquity trade’. And it demonstrates several features of the trade all at once.

There have been a lot of updates, which are here, but I consider whether this was Abu Sayyaf’s stash and where it might have been assembled more fully (or more coherently) in an update-summarising follow-up post.

In a further follow-up, I’ve reassessed the balance of antiquities and forgeries. I believe that most of Abu Sayyaf’s stash comprised ancient coins.

[I’m working on a huge update based on the U.S. State Department Cultural Heritage Center’s summary and photo gallery of the ISIL leader’s loot.]

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heritage management student’s archaeology blogging questionnaire

Heritage Management student Fleur Schinning is researching how social media are used and how they might be used to improve access to archaeology, based on blogs in the UK and the US. She’s written a questionnaire for readers (how you prefer to get information, why you use blogs, etc.) and another for bloggers (what you blog, how you try to reach your audience, etc.). Those who answer the questionnaire for readers might win six issues of Archaeology Magazine!


At the very least, delete the list of offices from your e-mail signature before you ask.

In the 13 months since the first apparent evidence of Islamic State antiquities trafficking emerged (though that data has still not been published and verified), media organisations alone have used my work in at least ninety reports on that and other subjects.1 And they’re just the ones that have credited me.

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