Man Found Guilty for Trafficking Over 500 Artifacts from Mexico to Big Bend National Park

Lillia McEnaneyArticle, NewsLeave a Comment

Image via Wikimedia Commons, Big Bend

In February, Andrew Kowalik of Rockport, Texas was sentenced to five years of home confinement and a $10,000 fine for smuggling over 500 pre-Columbian artifacts from Mexico to Texas’ Big Bend National Park. The agents recovered ceramics, lithics, figurines, and 2,000-year-old shoes, “all estimated to be worth $250,000 on the black market.” The objects are thought to be looted from … Read More

Archaeological Site Near Beaver Dam, Arizona Looted: Bureau of Land Management Asks for Public Awareness and Engagement

Lillia McEnaneyArticle, News, ReportLeave a Comment

Image courtesy of St. George News

In 2016, Tara Craft and Matthew Doyle looted an Anasazi, or Ancestral Puebloan, archaeological site on public lands near Beaver Dam, Arizona. During the investigation, both Craft and Doyle admitted to digging the site’s pit houses to loot ceramics, lithics, and any other artifacts they could find. Approximately 200 pieces of cultural and archaeological materials were found in their home. These … Read More

Bureau of Land Management Auctions Off Land Near Chaco Canyon

Lillia McEnaneyArticleLeave a Comment


In late January, the United States’ Bureau of Land Management leased 843 acres of land for gas drilling and oil rights in New Mexico. The property, in Rio Arriba and Sandoval counties, is directly adjacent to Chaco Canyon National Historic Park, with only 20 miles’ distance from the boundaries of the National Parks site. It was sold for $3 million, … Read More

The legal framework for the destruction of cultural heritage in Timbuktu during 2012-2013: Concluding considerations (7/7)

Nanette Askholm BulowArticle, Report1 Comment

Man in Timbuktu. Photo credit: Mission de l'ONU au Mali - UN Mission in Mali via / CC BY-NC-SA

The destruction of Sufi shrines and ancient manuscripts in Timbuktu, Mali, received a good deal of intention from the national and international community. Attitudes to cultural heritage has occasionally been criticized for being euro-centric. The prosecution of Ahmad Al Faqi Al Mahdi for the destruction of the shrines by the ICC under the Rome Statute, the action taken to safeguard … Read More

The legal framework for destruction of cultural heritage in Timbuktu during 2012-2013: Further legal considerations (6/7)

Nanette Askholm BulowArticle, ReportLeave a Comment

The Tomb of Askia standing 17 m tall. Photo credit: UNESCO Africa

Destruction of World Heritage The UNESCO Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage of 1972 ought to be considered in connection to the conflict in Mali and the destruction of its cultural heritage. Especially so, considering that the targeted shrines were considered World Heritage as a part of the inscribed city of Timbuktu, and as it … Read More

The legal framework for destruction of cultural heritage in Timbuktu during 2012-2013: A War-crime? (5/7)

Nanette Askholm BulowArticle, Report1 Comment

Ansar Dine. Photo credit: Magharebia

Both of the cases in Timbuktu involve the destruction of tangible cultural heritage. The intention to destroy these bodies is set within the context of conflict and may be interpreted in relation to it or as a result of it. The events therefore may be considered within such international frameworks:   The Hague Convection for the Protection of Cultural Property … Read More

Meet the 2016 SAFE Interns

Paige BrevickAnnouncement, ArticleLeave a Comment

Ruins of Ancient Rome

It has been a busy year so far at SAFE! We have a new Executive Team, new campaigns have emerged for heritage preservation, and our interns have been hard at work all year. As an entirely volunteer led organization, SAFE depends on the passion and expertise of our interns.  SAFE interns work on outreach projects, speak at campus events, and … Read More

The legal framework for the destruction of cultural heritage in Timbuktu during 2012-2013: What is the background for destruction of cultural heritage? (2/7)

Nanette Askholm BulowArticle, ReportLeave a Comment

The Bamiyan Buddhas today. Photo credit: DVIDSHUB via / CC BY

Political instability The conflict in Mali is complicated in its origin and may be connected to political unrest in the state prior to the military coup on the 21st of March 2012. Significantly such unrest may be traced back to the insurgency movements in the 1990’s. The North of Mali is home to the nomadic ethnic group – Tuareg, who … Read More

The Ancient Art of Collecting

Marina LahowinArticle, What do you think?Leave a Comment

In 1925, archaeologists Leonardo Woolley was excavating in an ancient Sumerian city called Ur, located in present day Iraq. There he uncovered one of the oldest collections of antiquities in the Ennigaldi-Nanna’s Museum, believed to be from 530 BC. The museum contained a diverse collection of ancient objects from Mesopotamia dating back as far as 2058 BC. Still more incredible, … Read More

The legal framework for the destruction of cultural heritage in Timbuktu during 2012-2013: The manuscripts and shrines of Timbuktu (3/7)

Nanette Askholm BulowArticle, ReportLeave a Comment


Historical Background The city of Timbuktu has carried significance since the 12th century and especially carried significance during the domination of the Songhay Empire from the 15th to the 16th Century. The city took great advantage of its strategic position and became a centre for both trade, scientific developments and as the heart of spiritual and Islamic thought in Africa. … Read More