Transcending Borders: Objects on the Move

Kersel, M. (2007), ‘Transcending Borders: Objects on the Move’, Archaeologies 3 (2), 81-98.

Does the demand for archaeological artefacts in the legal marketplace in Israel increase the looting of archaeological sites in the region? Through the course of investigating this question it became apparent that while consumer demand may be at the heart of the trade in antiquities, the nature and driving forces behind looting are far more complex than is often understood. The motivations for looting involve notions of nationalism, the forces of globalism, conflicting preservation and management plans, colonialism, and long-entrenched traditional practices. It is an examination of this complexity (i.e. the multiple forms of and incentives for looting), which forms the focus of this paper. This is an exploration of the multivocality of the various agents who make it possible for objects to transcend borders.