Related Encyclopedia Entries
Sicán/Lambayeque cultural site systematically looted from the early 20th century to the present.
Dos Cabezas is a Moche cultural site on Peru’s north coast that was the site of a major tomb looting event in the 1970s or 1980s and several recent looting incidents.
Peruvian site, the location of a major cemetery of the Wari culture that was heavily looted for textiles in the 1980s and 1990s.
A huaquero is a person who clandestinely excavates at archaeological sites for the purpose of obtaining marketable antiquities; a looter.
John Bourne Collection
Collection of Pre-Conquest metal objects, some of which were purchased in the United States in 1987 and were later identified as being from the site of Sipán, Peru.
A Moche funerary site in Northern Peru that was looted for spectacular gold objects during the same looting wave that hit following the discovery of the famous lord of Sipán tomb.
Laguna de los Condores
Remote Peruvian funerary site where numerous mummies were mutilated by incidental looters looking for sellable metal objects.
A Moche or Vicús cultural site that was heavily looted in the 1960s and 1970s for metal objects, many of which are now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
Some of the most informative studies of the traffic in cultural objects have been conducted by investigative media.
Nazca and Paracas cemeteries that were looted throughout the 20th century for sellable ancient textiles; aslo the site of a famous class of fake antiquity, the so-called Ica Stones.
Paracas Mantle returned from National Gallery of Australia
Stolen from Peru’s national museum, the textile was purchased by Australia’s national museum and was returned in 1989 after several years of Peruvian demands.
Masterful funerary textiles looted from Peruvian tombs throughout the 20th century, primarily in the 1930s, becoming a staple of the international antiquities market.
Peru v. Johnson
A civil suit filed against collector Benjamin Johnson in a US Court was ruled in favor of the defendant as the government of Peru could not prove that they were the legal owner of the objects in question.
Peruvian Antiquities Seized at Dulles Airport (1981)
Dealer pleaded guilty to falsely declaring the value of freshly-looted Peruvian antiquities that he attempted to bring into the US.
One of the best-known cases of archaeological looting; a Moche funerary site that was looted in 1987; the contents of an elite tomb were smuggled out of Peru and into various foreign collections.
Sipán Jewellery Offered for Sale at Sotheby’s (1994)
Several Peruvian antiquities offered for sale at Sotheby’s Auction House in 1994 that were seized by US Customs under suspicion of having been looted from Sipán.
Swetnam, Drew, Kelly Smuggling Ring of Objects from Sipán
The following is one particularly well documented incidence of the trafficking of artefacts from Sipan.