In Memoriam: Ashrawy and Mustafa Ali

social media teamAnnouncement, News1 Comment

Egyptian Guards

On February 19, a gang of armed men entered the archaeological site of Dayr al-Barsha with an objective to loot antiquities. The site is well known for its rock-cut tombs dating back to the Middle Kingdom (2040 BC – 1600 BC), many of which were excavated in the early 20th century. The perpetrators were foiled in their attempt to enter … Read More

Market Impact: Increasing Consumer Demand for Legal Provenance

social media teamAlert, Article, Commentary, News, What do you think?Leave a Comment

ceramic antiquities

The illegal antiquities market is extremely difficult to quantify. The nature of the smuggling networks and a code of silence between buyers and sellers make it next to impossible to confirm solid numbers for analysis. One of the few places for which hard data is available is the antiquities auction market. In 2015, researchers from the University of Chicago analyzed … Read More

Operation Hidden Idol

social media teamAnnouncement, News1 Comment

Wall Carving From Inside the Bhaja Caves, India

No, it isn’t the title of some Indiana Jones fanfic novel, but the name given to a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations’ (HSI) (DHS/ICE/HSI)* case involving tens of millions of dollars’ worth of rare antiquities allegedly looted from several nations by Subhash Kapoor. Unbeknownst to the Honolulu Museum of Art, their collection included seven of the … Read More

World’s Oldest Temple to Be Restored

social media teamArticle, NewsLeave a Comment

Göbekli Tepe

Göbekli Tepe, a site located in Turkey, has received funding to restore the oldest temple ever discovered. The pillars and carved stones are estimated to be 12,000 years old, which predates the projected date of agriculture and the invention of ceramics. With the new funding, the site will be able to build protective coverings for exposed structures as well as … Read More

Hiker Discovers 3,500 Year Old Seal and Returns it

social media teamNewsLeave a Comment

Sphinx Seal Impression

Last month, an Israeli hiker exploring the Horns of Hattin in the Lower Galilee chanced upon an oval, beetle-shaped seal that likely surfaced as a result of recent thunderstorms in the area. The area of the discovery is well known as the site of a former fortified citadel dating to the Late Bronze Age. Upon discovery and out of curiosity, the man contacted the Israeli Antiquities Authority, who … Read More

Argentina and Spain Return Thousands of Artifacts to Peru and Ecuador

social media teamNewsLeave a Comment

Moche Earrings

Over 4,000 cultural heritage items have been returned to Peru this week after having been seized from traffickers and art collectors almost 16 years ago, in Buenos Aires. The artifacts include pre-Columbian items, metals, textiles, wood, ceramics and bone, and constitute the largest amount of cultural artifacts to be returned to date. Argentina and Spain are also returning over 500 artifacts to Ecuador, adding to … Read More

Illegally Looted Roman and Etruscan Antiquities Found in Geneva

social media teamArticle, NewsLeave a Comment

Pompeii House

Italy’s Carabinieri art crime investigation unit recently discovered forty-five crates containing Etruscan and Roman antiquities in Geneva, Switzerland. Experts speculate that these pieces were left in Switzerland for fifteen years by Robin Symes, a dealer who has served time for contempt of court. When artifacts are improperly removed from their source, cultural and historical context is lost. Pompeii, an archaeological site famous … Read More

New Digital Projects Aimed at Preserving Cultural Heritage

social media teamNewsLeave a Comment

Taller Buddha of Bamiyan before and after destruction

In response to the devastating cultural heritage destruction by ISIS, several projects have emerged in the hopes of recording and protecting, albeit digitally, destroyed cultural and historic sites. Project Mosul was created one week after the video depicting the destruction of artifacts in the Mosul Museum. It is the brainchild of Chance Coughenour and Matthew Vincent, Ph.D. student researchers in Europe’s  Initial Training Network for … Read More

Deploying Technology to Rescue the Past

social media teamNewsLeave a Comment

Palmyra's theater by Jerzy Strzelecki (Wikipedia)

How are digital tools used to record artifacts and monuments for posterity, in light of cultural destruction by ISIS? Future Tense, a partnership of Arizona State University, New America and Slate, that explores emerging technologies and their transformative effects on society and public policy, will hold a panel discussion tonight, January 28th, from 6:00 – 7:30PM on these pressing issues. You can join the discussion via Twitter … Read More

Iran Urges UNESCO Push to Protect Cultural Heritage in Syria, Iraq

social media teamNewsLeave a Comment

Temple of Bel, Palmyra

In a meeting with UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova in Paris on Thursday, President Rouhani reminded international organizations, UNESCO in particular, of their heavy responsibility to safeguard the cultural heritage in war-torn countries like Syria and Iraq. The president further called on UNESCO to take a more active role in using “cultural capacities” to combat violence and terrorism, specifically to prevent destruction … Read More