Thursday, 14 December 2017

The antiquities trade always destroys knowledge.

A Smithsonian Magazine article is misleadingly called 'Archaeologists Are Only Just Beginning to Reveal the Secrets Hidden in These Ancient Manuscripts' (palaeography probably would be a better description) but there is another point here.

Imagine if these had been found by an artefact hunter, divided up into little bits like the recent Dead Sea Scroll fragments and sold off piecemeal to greedy collectors. We'd know none of this. The antiquities trade always destroys knowledge. Even when its supporters claim it is in some way creating knowledge, the wrenching of the artefacts out of their context of deposition and discovery and putting them, decontextualised, in collections (or on the market) is always destructive. Discuss. 

No comments:

Creative Commons License
Ten utwór jest dostępny na licencji Creative Commons Uznanie autorstwa-Bez utworów zależnych 3.0 Unported.