Archaeology and Cultural Heritage Management Engage the Final Frontier

Nathan ElkinsReportLeave a Comment

The current and last issues of Archaeology, a publication of the AIA, discussed the future prospects of space tourism and the need to protect historical objects orbiting our planet and left behind on the moon. Objects from the earliest days of the American and Russian space programs, these relics testify to humanity’s first efforts to travel beyond the confines of … Read More

Hot off the presses! Princeton reaches accord with Italy

Sarah PickmanNews1 Comment

Not long after Yale University agreed to return objects originally taken from Machu Picchu to Peru, another of the most prestigious American universities, Princeton, has agreed to return eight ancient pieces to Italy that were illegally excavated and exported. Like the Yale-Peru agreement, the accord between Princeton and Italy will promote scholarly exchange, with Princeton having access to scholarly archaeological … Read More

Archaeologists don’t care about ancient coins?

Nathan ElkinsArticleLeave a Comment

The notion that classical archaeologists do not care about ancient coins, or are ignorant of the utility of their study, is a myth repeatedly perpetuated by vocal members of the coin dealer lobby. One evident example is on the FAQ page of the Ancient Coin Collectors Guild (ACCG): “Aren’t archaeologists good custodians of ancient coins? While a few dedicated archaeologist-numismatists … Read More

Archaeological ethics and the Roman metro line C

Brooke TodsenArticleLeave a Comment

Published by SAFECORNER on behalf of the author Francesca Haack As Rome builds the third line of its subway, workers continually chance upon archaeological material. This paper discusses the ethical considerations behind the project. Some of these considerations are the necessity to satisfy all groups affected by the project, including archaeologists, commuters, the government, and construction companies, and the obligation … Read More

Cultural property law theory and United States v. Schultz

SAFECORNERArticleLeave a Comment

Published by SAFECORNER on behalf of the author Nora Crumpton. Frederick Schultz’s 2002 conviction for illegally importing and selling looted Egyptian artifacts drew tremendous public attention to the illicit antiquities trade. Schultz once a successful and prominent figure in the ancient art community, quickly became a symbol of the changing tides in international cultural property disputes. In this paper, I … Read More

A critical look at U.S. media coverage of antiquities issues

Roger AtwoodArticle, Commentary, ReportLeave a Comment

This paper was given by Roger Atwood, a visiting researcher at Georgetown University and a contributing editor atArchaeology magazine, at the conference “The Future of the Global Past” at Yale University on April 14, 2007. Atwood spoke on the panel “The Media and the Message” with John Malcolm Russell, Mark Rose and Michel Brent. Anyone who reads a newspaper knows that … Read More

A critical look at U.S. media coverage of antiquities issues

SAFECORNERCommentaryLeave a Comment

“Anyone who reads a newspaper knows that major American museums are facing unprecedented scrutiny in the press over their antiquities collections. Investigative-reporting teams more accustomed to covering government graft or corporate malfeasance have been probing museum acquisitions and finding dubious practices at some of the country’s most prestigious cultural institutions.” Author and journalist Roger Atwood compares “coverage by three major … Read More

2007 Global Candlelight Vigil for the Iraq Museum


[youtube=] In March 2007, on the eve of the fourth anniversary of the looting of the Iraq Museum in Baghdad, SAFE and the museum’s former director Donny George Youkhanna asked the world to pause on April 10-12, 2007 … light a candle … and remember not only the destruction that occurred at the Iraq Museum but also the destruction of … Read More

Will we achieve global recognition in the cultural heritage debate?

SAFECORNERCommentary2 Comments

As we absorb the news of Al Gore winning the Nobel Peace Prize, let’s take a moment to recognize a simple fact. For years, Mr. Gore, his colleagues and predecessors have been battling powerful commercial interests and no small amount of misinformation in the ongoing climate debate. Yet against those odds, the truth has prevailed. Global recognition is now beyond … Read More

It’s All the Same: the Looting of ‘High Art’ vs. the Looting of the Minor Arts

Nathan ElkinsArticle, Commentary4 Comments

When ancient objects are studied from recorded contexts, usually through scientific excavation, they are invaluable historical sources. In archaeological excavations, all classes of objects are systematically recorded and studied by specialists. Archaeology has evolved from its origins in treasure-hunting and the indiscriminate antiquarian accumulation of objects into a scientific discipline, which treats each object as an historical source, the usefulness … Read More