Trafficking Culture aims to produce an evidence-based picture of the contemporary global trade in looted cultural objects. This research programme is based at the University of Glasgow and is funded by the European Research Council.
On this website, you can keep up to date with the research as it progresses. The Projects page outlines the research activities which make up the overall research programme, and links to summaries of work to be undertaken in each research strand.
The Encyclopedia is a constantly evolving resource which presents introductory materials on the research topic. We encourage you to start here if you are looking for a short case study of a famously looted artefact, a critical analysis of a relevant law, a selection of methodological orientations for conducting research on the topic, or a brief introduction to criminological or social theory which may help us understand and engage with the issues. The Publications tab will take you to our research output past and present.
We very much welcome communication from researchers and others interested in the topic. Please see our Contact page.
‘Temple Looting in Cambodia: Anatomy of a Statue Trafficking Network’ free for a limited time
Simon Mackenzie and Tess Davis‘ latest article is available, free to access for a limited period, via the British Journal of Criminology website here. This and other work by the Trafficking Culture Project has recently been featured on the National Geographic website.
Trafficking Culture’s research in the press
19 Aug 2014
Results of research by several members of the Trafficking Culture Project have been picked up in...
Tess Davis to speak at the American Chamber of Commerce, Cambodia
28 Jul 2014
Project affiliate Tess Davis will be giving a talk entitled “Looted Cambodian Antiquities:...
Donna Yates in Belize to study trafficking of Maya artefacts
16 Jul 2014
Donna Yates will be in Belize until 29 July conducting preliminary research on the looting and...
Lost cities and looted tombs: Studying artifact smuggling in Belize
This piece is also available on the Day of Archaeology website here.
High Crimes: Studying the illicit antiquities trade in the Bolivian Andes
This piece, written for the 2013 Day of Archaeology, is also available here.
The Theft of Cultural Property in Bolivia: the absence of metal detectors
It seems surprising at first that the popularity of metal detecting has not spread to much of South...