Archive for ‘Research’

March 9, 2018

The antiquity of the Guennol Stargazer – legal, looted, fake?

(The posting of the series was interrupted by a system error in Microsoft Edge, then the deliberate deletion of the lost data by Microsoft Support. It will continue next week…)

Last year, I noted the incomplete collecting history of a marble Kilia idol (also discussed as a Kiliya/tepegöz figurine/statuette), the Guennol Stargazer. The lawsuit, brought by the Republic of Turkey against Christie’s auction house and collector-seller Michael Steinhardt, continues. I make no judgement.

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March 5, 2018

“mere” corruption, political insecurity and conflict antiquities trafficking in Cyprus and Turkey

When considering trafficking of and markets for (fake) conflict antiquities, it is helpful to remember that cultural property crime can be connected with common problems, such as corruption and oppression, in uncommon ways. Furthermore, disparate cases can sometimes help to interpret one another.

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March 1, 2018

every story about Turkey has everything: fake conflict antiquities trafficking, drug trafficking and conflict financing

While I was collecting evidence of the markets for (fake) conflict antiquities that are trafficked from and through Turkey, journalist Cristina Maza reviewed the allegations by Turkey that former CIA agent Graham Fuller was involved in the 2016 coup attempt and observed that ‘this story has everything’. I noted that every story about Turkey has everything. Here, I try to trace historical connections between trafficking of fake conflict antiquities, trafficking of other illicit commodities and financing of politically-motivated armed groups.

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February 28, 2018

conflict antiquities and fake conflict antiquities are marketed from and through Turkey

Following the workshop on Radiocarbon Dating and Protection of Cultural Heritage, I thought it might help to summarise evidence of markets for conflict antiquities and fake conflict antiquities that are trafficked from or through Turkey, alongside evidence from elsewhere in the region.

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February 27, 2018

Radiocarbon Dating and Protection of Cultural Heritage

Following a conference paper and a journal article on the ‘enhancement’ of cultural heritage by AMS dating: ethical questions and practical proposals, physicists at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich), plus archaeologists and a lawyer at the University of Geneva, organised a workshop on Radiocarbon Dating and Protection of Cultural Heritage.

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February 26, 2018

curbing the spoils of war

This is just a note with a couple of points to highlight. The UNESCO Courier has published my article on “curbing the spoils of war“, also published as “pillage d’antiquités: arrêter l’hémorragie”, “restringir os espólios da Guerra“, “tráfico de antigüedades: acabemos con la hemorragia”, “Приоритет: oстановить грабеж культурных ценностей“, “حتّى يتوقّف النزيف: نهب الآثار” and “制止在战争中劫掠文物“.

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December 23, 2017

corrections to quantitative analysis of open-source data on metal detecting for cultural property

Regretfully, I have [had] to make corrections to my (open access) quantitative analysis of open-source data on metal detecting for cultural property: estimation of the scale and intensity of metal detecting and the quantity of metal-detected cultural goods. They do not undermine the findings or their significance. The miscalculation produced an underestimate that reduced the apparent significance of the results.

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October 16, 2017

antiquities trafficking and espionage in the Cold War and the New Cold War

State financing and assassination in the Cold War

As I noted on my doctoral research blog on Cultural Heritage in Conflict (and as Peter Campbell found elsewhere), there is secure evidence of conflict antiquities trafficking by Communist Bulgaria (the People’s Republic of Bulgaria) during the Cold War. There is also secure evidence of connections between state criminals who trafficked arms from Bulgaria and deep state criminals who trafficked drugs (heroin) from Turkey, at a time when drug traffickers from Turkey also trafficked antiquities.

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October 4, 2017

textbook public archaeology is open-access public archaeology

I’m delighted to say that I was able to make a small contribution to Key Concepts in Public Archaeology (PDF DOI), which explores ‘practice and scholarship where archaeology meets the world’. Realising an ideal of public archaeology, it’s published by UCL Press, under a Creative Commons 4.0 International license (CC BY 4.0) for open access. It’s ‘dedicated to Tim Schadla-Hall who has… inspired and supported a generation of public archaeologists’, including me.

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August 23, 2017

impossible numbers for metal detectorists online in Ukraine and possible explanations

One of the reasons that I have been so quiet is that I have been trying to fathom the depths of some bewildering material (in relation to the subject of this post and other cases).

As part of my ongoing analysis of metal detecting (an open-source analysis of quantitative data), I have gathered evidence of more than 100,000 treasure-hunters in the Central-Eastern European region of Belarus, Poland, Russia and Ukraine. However, I have also found evidence of impossible numbers in communities for Ukraine, which cannot easily be explained.

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