Posts tagged ‘Russia’

August 9, 2018

a very preliminary review of destruction, trafficking and politics of heritage in social media of Russian trolls

troll factories: the Internet Research Agency and state-sponsored agenda building

Identified members of a Russian state-linked propaganda outlet, the Internet Research Agency (IRA), are being prosecuted for participating in ‘a sophisticated and coordinated campaign to sow disinformation and discord into American politics via social media’, ‘interfering in American electoral and political processes’. Journalist Jim Galloway has captured the logic of much of the activity: ‘let’s you and him fight’.

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April 3, 2018

‘black archaeology’ in Eastern Europe: metal detecting, illicit trafficking of cultural objects, and ‘legal nihilism’ in Belarus, Poland, Russia, and Ukraine

I’m happy to say that Public Archaeology has published my article on ‘black archaeology’ in Eastern Europe: metal detecting, illicit trafficking of cultural objects, and ‘legal nihilism’ in Belarus, Poland, Russia, and Ukraine.

There is an open-access postprint copy, as well as the paywalled official publication. You can also contact me.

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April 2, 2018

Illegal finders of antiquities in Ukraine: do digital data indicate grassroots growth, coincidence, false advertising, astroturfing, trolling or sockpuppetry?

I am delighted to say that Ukrainian Archaeology – particularly Ukrainian Archaeology – has published my (open-access) study of illegal finders of antiquities in Ukraine: do digital data indicate grassroots growth, coincidence, false advertising, astroturfing, trolling or sockpuppetry?

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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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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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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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July 14, 2015

Financial investment in the antiquities market: a premium price for looted antiquities?

Just in case readers did not see last month’s updates to the story of the six-century-old “Syrian” tile trafficked from a shrine in Syria, which was in fact a twelve-decade-old Persian tile transported from a seller in France, I thought I would highlight them in the light of a few other stories about the market-end of the antiquities trade, because they hint at something that may be quite significant.

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June 7, 2015

Was the plaque in Finland sold on the French market with an accurate description and estimate, then resold into the Russian market with an inaccurate description and estimate?

[Original title: Were the antiquities going to Russia from Syria or Iran or France?]

On the 5th of June, it was reported that ‘Isis-looted treasures’ had been ‘seized en route to Russia’, then that an ‘”Isis looted” Syrian Ottoman ceramic bound for Russia’ had been ‘seized in Finland‘. Unfortunately, the speech marks in the second headline were supposed to undermine the first, but sounded like confirmation. More troublingly, every piece of information about the ceramic in both reports appears to have been wrong.

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February 7, 2015

Terrorist antiquities trading and state arms smuggling between Syria and Turkey

The antiquities trade rules in the Russia-drafted United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolution against terrorist financing have been reviewed by China, France, the United Kingdom and the United States – and revised (or most significantly revised) by the United States.

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