Archive for August, 2015

August 28, 2015

Note: Rim Turkmani hasn’t estimated IS income from Nabek as $36m, she’s noted previous reports in her LSE paper

When the Australian’s Jamie Walker said that, ‘in recent research for the London School of Economics, ­Syrian-born scientist Rim Turkmani estimated that Islamic State had earned $36 million off antiquities taken from a single site — the ancient Abyssinian monastery in Nabek’, he meant that Turkmani had tried ‘to estimate the income that ISIL makes from selling Syrian antiquities’ and concluded that it was ‘difficult’ (or, indeed, impossible, as she did not provide an estimate).

However, in her paper on ISIL, JAN and the War Economy in Syria, she also noted the Guardian’s previous report that ‘memory sticks obtained after an arrest of ISIL members in Iraq revealed that they made 36 million dollars from selling antiquities from only site in Al Nabek area in the Syria’. More than a year since their publication, the antiquities data on those memory sticks have still not been published or verified.

August 17, 2015

APAA appeal on archaeological work in Ukraine’s Russia-occupied/annexed Crimea

[I am still on jury duty. I wrote this on the weekend.]

Last year, I considered (and summarised) the possibilities for excavation in Crimea under annexation. On the 6th of August 2015, the All-Ukrainian Public Association of Archaeologists (APAA) issued an appeal to archaeologists of the Russian Federation. It has been published in Ukrainian, Russian and English and it is being discussed on Facebook. (I have corrected typos and clarified the translation of a few words or phrases.)

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August 17, 2015

Chersonesus: nationalist state annexation and internationalist professional resistance

[I am still on jury service. I wrote this on the weekend.]

Having annexed Crimea territorially on the 18th of March 2014 (a month after which, the Ukraine-licensed archaeologists at Chersonesus were attacked by gunmen), the Russian state redoubled its efforts to annex Crimea culturally. On the 4th of December 2014, President Vladmimir Putin repeated an age-old Russian nationalist historical narrative and insisted that it was ‘in Crimea, in ancient Chersonesus, or Korsun as the Russian chroniclers called it, that Prince Vladimir took baptism, before he baptized all of Rus’‘.

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