Sunday 30 June 2013

Oscar Muscarella on Archaeological Plunder

British Archaeology:"Let's
just ignore the issues,
eh, partner?"

According to Oscar Muscarella:
Most professional archaeological organizations periodically proclaim their adversity to plundering, the destruction of archaeological sites worldwide, but in fact do little to stop it
He gives an honourable mention to the Society of American Archaeology and the Journal of Field Archaeology which "single handily fight the plunderers" and some websites.
But the only active USA organization, a non-professional lay group (organized by Cindy Ho), Saving Antiquities for Everyone (SAFE), has singularly and continuously fought the good fight from its inception. They cite plunder wherever it occurs, naming names of the plunderers, their supporters and their opponents. That it is unique is a very sad indication of the present state of affairs. I have been a proud member from its incipience and encourage others to join.
And, realistically, which organizations in Great Britain do an equivalent job? Rescue does a bit of quiet muttering, the CBA keeps its head down, and as for the so-called "Portable Antiquities Scheme", what it does to spread the word about the global issues of archaeological looting can be written on the back of an (extremely small) postage stamp. Again it is down to voluntary organizations like Heritage Action to try to keep these issues in the public eye.

1 comment:

Damien Huffer said...

Hear, hear! It's not all unprofessional, if I may be so immodest :)

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