Conclusion: the social and cultural contexts of antiquities collecting
Brodie, N. and Luke, C. (2006), ‘Conclusion: the social and cultural contexts of antiquities collecting’, in N. Brodie, M. Kersel, C. Luke and K.W. Tubb (eds), Archaeology, Cultural Heritage, and the Antiquities Trade (Gainesville: University Press of Florida), 303–20.
Archaeological artifacts have become a traded commodity in large part because the global reach of Western society allows easy access to the world’s archaeological heritage. Acquired by the world’s leading museums and private collectors, antiquities have been removed from archaeological sites, monuments, or cultural institutions and illegally traded. This collection of essays by world-recognized experts investigates the ways that com-modifying artifacts fuels the destruction of archaeological heritage and considers what can be done to protect it. Despite growing national and international legislation to protect cultural heritage, increasing numbers of archaeological sites—among them, war-torn Afghanistan and Iraq—are subject to pillage as the monetary value of artifacts rises. Offering comprehensive examinations of archaeological site looting, the antiquities trade, the ruin of cultural heritage resources, and the international efforts to combat their destruction, the authors argue that the antiquities market impacts cultural heritage around the world and is a burgeoning global crisis.