Prominent coin dealer and hand surgeon thought he was selling real stolen coins

SAFECORNERAlert, Announcement3 Comments

Dr. Arnold-Peter Weiss, a prominent Rhode Island hand surgeon, a professor of orthopedics at Brown University School of Medicine, and a dealer in ancient coins, pleaded guilty on July 3, to attempted criminal possession of stolen property, a misdemeanor offense, for trying to sell what he thought were authentic ancient Greek coins that he believed had been looted from Sicily. But the coins … Read More

Yet another one…

Damien HufferAlert, Commentary, Report4 Comments

This morning, while browsing the web for current Southern Hemisphere antiquities trade news to blog about, I came across the webpage of a company/auction house that, to me, seems as brazen in their sale of unprovenanced and/or recently surfaced artifacts as the world’s largest wholesale auction houses. Indeed, they occasionally have their own auctions! This time I’m talking about Arte … Read More

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

Old collections: a convenient myth?

Paul BarfordCommentary4 Comments

Dealers in unprovenanced archaeological material frequently evoke the argument that a lot of the material on the market today comes from the dismantling of old collections; collecting of archaeological artefacts has been going on, they say, since the Renaissance. In debate they can even show examples of such long-curated finds. Dealers assure buyers that this means that there are a … Read More

Coins matter

SAFECORNERAnnouncement1 Comment

In the SAFE feature article “Why coins matter” numismatist Nathan Elkins wrote “Ancient coins are among the most widely collected and demanded objects among American collectors of antiquities.” “We cannot think that ancient coins are less significant than Greek vases—when looted, both are forever divorced from their historical and archaeological contexts and irrecoverable information is lost when the site from … Read More

The Curious Case of a Gold Vessel from Ur

Nathan ElkinsAlertLeave a Comment

Last Wednesday, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung carried a story entitled “Deutsch-irkaischer Archäologenkrimi / Aus Ur oder aus Troja? Ein Goldgefäß macht derzeit den Behörden Probleme. Es soll von Raubgrabungen aus dem Irak stammen. Bagdad hat Strafanzeige gegen einen deutschen Händler gestellt” (by D. Gerlach, 29.6.2009, pp. 1,3) about a gold vessel looted from Ur that was offered by a German … Read More

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

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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

Preserving Colonia Ulpia Traiana Ratiaria

Nathan ElkinsReport1 Comment

The Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues weblog has called attention to a campaign to preserve Colonia Ulpia Traiana Ratiaria which lays in the northwestern part of modern Bulgaria. Like so many other places in Bulgaria, the site is being systematically destroyed by treasure hunters. I have discussed the destruction of Bulgaria’s archaeological record and cultural heritage several times before … 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

EBay: A Solution to the Illicit Antiquities Trade?

Nathan ElkinsCommentaryLeave a Comment

A story from the latest Archaeology Magazine (C. Stanish, “Forging Ahead. Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love eBay,” Archaeology Magazine 62.3 (May/June 2009)) has been the subject of some blog discussions lately, e.g.: Larry Rothfield, “eBay Reduces Looting — Maybe,” The Punching Bag(21 April 2009)Derek Finchman, “‘What Fools the Curator Also Fools the Collector’,” Illicit Cultural Property … Read More