Yesterday, Jessica Dietler of Glasgow University claimed that there was a 'lack of evidence' for ISIL raising funds through the trafficking of ancient artefacts. Today that is echoed by somebody calling themselves 'Lestak de Lioncourt IV' from Liverpool John Moores University, who considers "archaeology inherently (neo)colonialist, in denial of its own criminogenic creations and, therefore, eventually and essentially state-corporate crime enhancing". He accuses me and others of "sustaining convenient (yet false) truths on heritage-funded terrorism". Perhaps the time is right for the two of them to present their evidence for their point of view. Can we please now learn what you have got?
UPDATE 26th November 2014
Ms Dietzler clearly imagines herself in the role of my old English teacher and is still insistent that we discuss my prose style, accusing me: "You deflected my original point by dragging me into a debate about ISIL/antiquities", not really seeing the irony of what she is saying about discussion of a post called 'The Dealer's Response to the Syrian Conflict Antiquity Crisis' on a blog called "Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues".
If, however, one follows the thread back, she was referring to a post where I expressed my own opinion on what a dealer had written about the ongoing trade in Syrian antiquities - and then proceeded to say she agreed with the dealer. Her point was that my criticisms were off-mark because "he's right that evidence is lacking". Since Ms Dietzler and I both agree that it is "right to question things", and leaving aside the side issue of her acrimonious statements about my prose style, I think we all want now to hear the Glasgow academic's considered reasons for publishing such a dismissive statement about an issue that is of such concern to many. Can we please now learn what they are?
Vignette: Jessica Dietzler (from the Trafficking Culture website)