More False Claims about Lobbying on Antiquities Issues

Nathan ElkinsCommentary1 Comment

David Gill has recently addressed claims made by Peter Tompa that appear to have little basis in fact. Tompa is a lobbyist who represents commercial trade interests. He has alleged that the Cyprus American Archaeological Research Institute (CAARI) “was involved in behind-the-scenes lobbying on behalf of the Cypriot Department of Antiquities, the Cypriot government body that issues excavation permits that … Read More

Gill considers the current legal action pending against the US Department of State regarding the import of antiquities

Nathan ElkinsReportLeave a Comment

From “Why are ancient coins from Cyprus featured in a suit against the US Department of State?,” PR Newswire, 26 June 2009: SWANSEA, Wales,June 26/PRNewswire/ –David Gill, archaeologist, considers the recent Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) suit on the US Department of State. The FOIA suit was served in November 2007by three numismatic organizations; one of the three is based … Read More

Unrecorded Ancient Coins from Britain for Sale in the United States: Grumblings and a Positive Response

Nathan ElkinsCommentary, Report1 Comment

On May 18, I called attention to two different mass suppliers of ancient coins in the United States who regularly sell bulk lots of “uncleaned ancient coins” from all over Europe and the Middle East (“Having Cake and Eating it too: Unrecorded and Freshly Dug British Coins Sold in the USA,” Numismatics and Archaeology). These two sellers had recently offered … Read More

Response to “Cultural Property Observer” July 9 2008 blog post


On July 9 2008, a post entitled “Saving Antiquities for Everyone: Grassroots or Astro Turf?” appeared on the blog “Cultural Property Observer” which raised questions about SAFE’s membership, funding sources, position on the Ancient Coin Collectors Guild and coin collecting, as well as SAFECORNER’s support “for Iraqi Government control over Jewish holy books” and “SAFE members’ kudos for China’s treatment … Read More

The ACCG “Benefit Auction”

Nathan ElkinsCommentary5 Comments

I have critiqued the goals, motives, and tactics of the Ancient Coin Collectors Guild (ACCG) several times (those unfamiliar with the ACCG are urged to consult a list of some relevant web-postings at the end of this discussion). For those who do not know, the ACCG is a 501 (c) 4 organization to which financial contributions are not normally tax … Read More

Towards a Forum for Constructive Dialogue

Nathan ElkinsCommentary, What do you think?2 Comments

Although I have critically examined the trade in ancient coins, I have never proclaimed an “anti-collecting” position; instead, I have been concerned with destruction and the problems caused by indiscriminate collecting. Over the past several months it has become clear that our viewpoints diverge on philosophical and statistical elements, e.g. the relative value of contexts and scale of the flow … 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

Coins, ethics and scheduled monuments

David GillCommentary2 Comments

Nathan Elkins has raised some important issues in “Codes of Ethics vs. the Financial Interest“. It has drawn my attention to the code of ethics published by the ACCG. Appended to the rather brief list is this statement: “The ACCG Board of Directors also agreed that the standards of conduct of museum professionals and archaeologists ought to include certain issues … Read More

Codes of Ethics vs. the Financial Interest

Nathan ElkinsCommentary1 Comment

It is curious that some groups of antiquities dealers have adopted “Codes of Ethics,” which do not seem to be rigorously enforced or acknowledged in practice. One group of ancient coin dealers that claims to advocate for cultural preservation, while opposing any legislative efforts designed to curb looting and the trade in illicit antiquities that also affect the unregulated trade … Read More

Can Cultural Property Legislation Kill an Academic Discipline?

Nathan ElkinsArticle, Commentary2 Comments

To those of us who advocate for cultural property protection, it is impossible to think that such efforts would have anything but positive effects on the preservation of information and cultural heritage. However, one lobby, the Ancient Coin Collectors Guild (ACCG), opposes such protective measures as they relate to the uncontrolled trade in ancient coins and assert that if cultural … Read More