Wednesday, September 28, 2011

If Busybodies Can Help Prevent Illegal Garbage Dumping, Why Not also Pay Them to Identify Looters of Antiquities?

The Times today has a story about an interesting law enforcement technique in Korea that might be a cost-effective way to improve policing of archaeological sites, especially if the fines are greater than the reward.:

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Archeological Organizations Step Up, Urge Concrete Steps to Help Protect Libyan Archaeological Sites

Finally, a coordinated, thought-through call from archaeological organizations for specified steps to be taken to protect archaeological sites in a post-conflict transitional situation. I would have suggested a few additional steps that would focus more resources directly on site guarding -- i.e., not just US-AID funding, but also real-time remote site monitoring assistance from NATO, which has the capacity to keep an eye in the sky on what is happening out in the desert. But that aside, this is a huge improvement on any comparable statements in the aftermath of other revolutions or wars.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Antiquity tied to Jesus? Maybe, but we will never know for sure, thanks to the looters and those who buy from them

Here we go again. An ancient ossuary is determined to be genuine, but is the inscription genuine as well? And even if it is, where exactly is the burial site, who else was buried there, etc. etc.?

The researchers aren't able to trace where the ossuary was discovered, since it had made the rounds in the illegal antiquities trade, but they believe it came from a burial site in the Valley of Elah, southwest of Jerusalem, the legendary location of the battle between David and Goliath. Beit Imri was probably located on the slopes of Mount Hebron, they said.

Maybe yes, maybe no. If I were a devout Christian, I would be very upset. As someone who cares about the truth in our past, a truth that is continually being falsified and obliterated by those who collect antiquities, I am upset myself.