Monday, 28 August 2017

Partnership with Artefact Hunters: Looters of Ancient Egyptian Artifacts Try to Recruit Egyptologists for Help

In the UK, it is now considered quite normal that archaeologists would aid those engaged in the Collection-Driven Exploitation of the archaeological record. In other countries it seems it is not always frowned-on by the archaeological community either:
Encounters with looters selling antiquities are common among Egyptologists who are on social media, said Monica Hanna, an Egyptologist who conducts research on the looting and trafficking of Egypt's antiquities extensively. Looters usually contact Egyptologists using social media or email, Hanna told Live Science. Hanna said that she is aware of a few cases where professional archaeologists decided to breach ethics and assist looters. [...]  it is difficult to prevent looting given the economic conditions in Egypt and the fact that there are collectors willing to buy looted artifacts – and middlemen willing to help them. "Frankly speaking, I don't blame the looters fully. It is the market for the antiquities and the middlemen that encourage the looting," said Sarah Parcak, an anthropology professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, who has also conducted research on the looting of antiquities. "We need to work harder to provide more economic opportunities for communities near sites to stop the looting." Kara Cooney, a professor of Egyptian art and architecture at the University of California, Los Angeles, said that she knows of no Egyptologist who has agreed to help looters. "I'm sure they [the looters] find someone, who then pays them far less than they [the artifacts] are worth, but that's what middlemen do," Cooney told Live Science. 
Owen Jarus,'Looters of Ancient Egyptian Artifacts Try to Recruit Egyptologists for Help', Live Science August 28, 2017

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