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Irish Neolithic sites , and Stone Age monuments are being destroyed by treasure hunters , vandals, and visitors. Some of the tombs date back 5000 years and are among the oldest of their kind in Europe. Now it is feared that Irish Neolithic sites and other ancient historic monuments that have endured for thousands of years may be wrecked by the curious and the misguided.
County Sligo , in western Ireland, is famous for its stone age monuments. There have been 75 identified and they make up ‘almost one-third of the estimated 240 in the State, according to the Sligo Neolithic Landscapes Group’ reports the Irish Times . The vast majority of them date to the Neolithic period .
Mysterious Irish Neolithic Sites and Monuments
Among the many remarkable monuments in County Sligo the Carrowkeel megalithic cemetery stands out. It consists of 15 passage tombs and cairns and was in use from the Neolithic period right through to the Bronze Age. It is believed that a roof-box found at the site may be an indication that it was used for astronomical purposes.
A megalithic passage tomb in Carrowkeel is one of several that has been damaged in recent weeks. (Shane Finan / CC BY-SA 4.0 )
In the Carrowmore megalithic cemetery , which also has many passage tombs, a mysterious underground circular structure encircling a raised platform was found. There are also many satellite tombs to be found at Carrowmore, which formed part of a ritual landscape.
Many of the Sligo monuments feature in Celtic mythology and they have become popular with visitors in recent years and this is causing a lot of problems.
Sligo Neolithic Landscapes Group is quoted by The Irish Times as warning that the area is “a very fragile landscape” which is under “grave existential threat” from tourism and development. This is because visitors and vandals are destroying many of the monuments. The Irish Times reports that experts are seeing damage ‘on a scale never seen before.’ So many people are walking on cairns and other stone structures that they are causing great damage.
Sleeping In Ancient Tombs, Graffiti, and Theft
Queen Maebdh’s cairn, one of the best-known known landmarks in the area, sits on top of a hill and has been damaged by people walking on it. Dr Robert Hensey, an authority on the area, told The Irish Times that there are “walking scars left by ever-increasing footfall.”
Many of the tombs at Carrowkeel and elsewhere are very fragile. However, people are oblivious to this and they are not respecting the monuments. Dr Hensey is quoted by The Irish Times as saying that “A couple chose to stay in one of the tombs some years ago with straw bedding, and their tins of beans and washing line.”
Representative graffiti at a megalithic site in Malta, Spain (Ethan Doyle White / CC BY-SA 4.0 )
Another problem is graffiti. People have been scratching their names on the stones of Carrowkeel in particular. This is damaging very rare megalithic art at a site that was only discovered in 2009.
And people are taking home stones as mementoes of their trip to the ancient sites. Irish Central quotes the Sligo Neolithic Landscapes Group as stating ‘that so much material had been taken from one passage tomb - Teach Cailleach a’ Bheara (the House of the Witch) - that there is now a hole large enough for an adult to lie in.’
Treasure Hunters Continue to Damage These Sites
Other visitors steal stones from the tombs that contain quartz. There is some evidence that this quartz is being sold online. The taking of stones, no matter their size, from a protected monument is an offence in Ireland but it has not stopped the culprits.
Then there is the problem of illegal treasure hunters, who have caused significant damage. Some misguided and ignorant people believe valuable gold or bronze objects are hidden inside ancient monuments. Dr Hensey is quoted by Archaeology News Network as saying “They may not be aware that stone age sites are over 5,000 years old and predate the use of metals in Ireland.’’ These misguided treasure hunters are wasting their time and damaging Ireland’s heritage.
Ancient beehive hut structures at Skellig Michael in County Kerry, Ireland, used as settings in two Star Wars movies, now attract way too many tourists. (Towel401 / CC BY-SA 4.0 )
Race Against Time to Stop The Damage
The vandalism and damage done to the Stone Age structures are a blow to the Sligo Neolithic Landscapes Group, who want to have Sligo’s Neolithic monuments listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Ireland already has two UNESCO listed sites at Brú na Bóinne and Skellig Michael, the latter appeared in two Star Wars movies. The government department stated that it is aware of the problem, but it points out that many of the monuments are not the responsibility of the government and are on private land. However, the Office of Public Works is taking action to preserve the monuments.
- Carrowmore Megalithic Cemetery: Where Prehistoric Ireland went for Ritual Burials in a Big Way
- Petra Under Threat from Looting and Vandalism
- Vandals Smash Monumental Fountain in Ancient Greek City of Apollonia
Sligo County Council, which supports the efforts to have the sites listed by UNESCO as World Heritage sites, admits that visitors are causing problems but that they have to maintain a ‘balancing act between encouraging tourists and protecting sites’ reports Archaeology News Network . While it is impossible to protect the monuments all the time more needs to be done. This is because without a coherent strategy to safeguard Sligo’s Neolithic heritage it will almost certainly disappear.
While Ireland and Italy already had laws in place explicitly relating to archaeology, France has only had legislation to protect archaeological remains as part of public heritage since 1941. This preoccupation with safeguarding our collective memory is not therefore specifically French, as some like to think. The Valetta Convention, signed by the Council of Europe on 16 January 1992, even displays a willingness to have a common political agenda concerning the protection of archaeological heritage. However, although many European countries have shown an interest in such protection by legislation, the results enable very different levels of economic and public expectations to be identified. Since it is not possible to review each country, this article will focus on France. Thus the issues involved in differentiating between professional archaeologists, voluntary archaeologists and treasure hunters can be best assessed through one of the tools of archaeological research: the metal detector.
ArkéoTopia defines these terms as follows:
- Professional archaeologist – a person, qualified or not, who is paid to carry out interventions relating to archaeology (see Section 3).
- Voluntary archaeologist – any person, qualified or not, who carries out an unpaid activity within archaeology, with a status more or less similar to that of a professional archaeologist (see Section 4).
- Treasure hunter – any person looking for archaeological remains in an illicit way without any scientific intent (that is to say, at least without any circulation of the results of the discovery following a scientific approach). Even though they can be of interest to archaeology, the case of family treasures and their finders merits individual treatment which is beyond the scope of this article.
The Wider Christian World
&hellipit is putting a very high value on one's conjectures to roast a man alive on the strength of them.
Montaigne (1533-1592), Essay "Of Cripples"
Once Europe was won, European Christians began to spread the word more widely. Europeans had rediscovered the Canary Isles, known to the ancients, in 1336. The native people, called Guanches, become subject to a Christian monarch. They originally numbered between 80,000 and 100,000, but within 200 years they had been wiped out13. This style of cultural interaction between Christian Europe and lands to the west and south was to become a regular pattern.
Christopher Columbus was a devout Christian. In his Book of Prophecies he made it clear that he felt himself to have been chosen by God. In later life he sometimes wore the habit of a Franciscan. His vocation was partly to find gold to finance a new crusade against the Muslims and partly to bring Christianity to the benighted heathen. The winning of new souls for God was a principal objective of his westward voyages. Wherever he went he made a point of leaving a cross standing as a mark of Christian domination. The pattern in the Canaries was soon being imitated on other islands. On Hispaniola, Columbus's men were instructed to reduce the country to the service of the Roman Catholic Sovereigns Ferdinand and Isabella. The native Tainos soon discovered the ramifications of this. Christians kidnapped Taino boys for slaves and Taino women for concubines. They hunted Taino men with dogs, for sport, then killed them. Public burnings at the stake were introduced. So were clippings of noses and ears, and the lopping off of limbs. A form of slavery was introduced under the euphemistic name of encomienda. If a recalcitrant Taino killed a Christian, 100 Tainos would be killed in retribution. Sometimes the Tainos would be hanged from gallows then fires lit underneath them. They were roasted alive in groups of thirteen "in honour and reverence for our Redeemer and the 12 apostles"14. The new Christian masters picked up infants, held them by their feet, and smashed their brains out against rocks.
By the time Columbus returned to Spain in 1496 he had not managed to convert a single Taino. Partly through wanton murder and partly through infectious diseases brought from Europe, the population of Hispaniola fell rapidly. In 1492, when Columbus planted his first cross, the Taino population of Hispaniola had probably been somewhere between 3 and 8 million. By the mid-sixteenth century the Tainos were extinct15. Disease could have decimated the population but could not have extirpated it. Genocide such as this was the work of man and his Christian God, not of nature. Christians developed fictions to justify their behaviour. A popular one was that their victims were so bestial that it was doubtful whether they were human at all. Sub-humans did not have souls, so it could not matter what was done to them. Such sub-humans might look fully human, but their true natures were given away by activities such as cannibalism and sodomy. Almost every society that Christians encountered was sooner or later accused of these practices and thus dehumanised (as were heretical sects within Christendom). There is no real evidence linguistic, historical, archaeological or anthropological that cannibalism was any more widespread in the Caribbean or the Americas, or among heretics, than it was among orthodox Christians16.
Spanish Christians enjoying the spectacle of non-Christian South Americans being torn to pieces by dogs.
Cortés, the leader of the Conquistadores was another keen Christian. He carried around with him an image of the Virgin Mary. The primary aim of his expedition to the Americas was "to serve God and spread the Christian faith". His record was even worse than that of Columbus. Here is an extract from a proclamation read out by the Conquistadores to their new subjects:
The Lord God has delegated to Peter and his successors all power over all people of the earth, so that all people must obey the successors of Peter (i.e. the Pope). Now one of these popes has made a gift of the newly discovered islands and countries and everything that they contain to the kings of Spain, so that, by virtue of this gift, their Majesties are now kings and lords of these islands and of the continent. You are therefore required to recognise Holy Church as mistress and ruler of the whole world and to pay homage to the King of Spain as your new lord. Otherwise, we shall, with God's help, proceed against you with violence and force you under the yoke of the Church and the king, treating you as rebellious vassals deserve to be treated. We shall take your property away from you and make slaves of your women and children. At the same time, we solemnly declare that only you will be to blame for the bloodshed and the disaster that will overtake you17.
They apparently genuinely believed that they were colonising on behalf of God. The country now known as El Salvador was originally baptized by Spanish conquistadors as &ldquoProvincia De Nuestro Señor Jesucristo El Salvador Del Mundo&rdquo (&ldquo Province Of Our Lord Jesus Christ, The Savior Of The World&rdquo).
When Christian Europeans first arrived in the Americas they had been greatly impressed by the indigenous peoples" simplicity and friendliness, as well as their way of life. They thought they had literally found Paradise the Garden of Eden described in the book of Genesis. The Spanish were so impressed by Aztec medicine that the King's physician was sent to study it, and he spent seven years doing so. We do not know how much he learned because only a part of his record has survived. Some idea of the sophistication of the Aztec's medical knowledge may be adduced from the fact that they knew of some 1,200 medicinal plants. Much of their knowledge was lost or destroyed. Their treasures were stolen, buildings razed, and historical evidence burned. Valuable information about Mayan and Aztec culture was lost forever. Religious, legal and cultural records were sought out, seized and burned by men like Archbishop Zumárraga in Mexico and Bishop Landa in the Yucatan. Zumárraga, the first Bishop of Mexico, did his best to obliterate all trace of pre-Christian religions including countless manuscripts. In 1531 he claimed personally to have destroyed over 500 temples and 20,000 icons. If people hid their icons they were tortured in order to force them to divulge where they were hidden. Conversions were effected by beating and imprisonment, or by kidnapping children to be indoctrinated into the faith.
The Compulsory conversion of native Americans to Christianity by Spanish Jesuit missionaries, c1500
The established pattern was repeated in one location after another. Accusations of cannibalism and sodomy arose to excuse Christian atrocities. Inquisitor-Governors like Don Nuño Guzmán taught that the indigenous population did not have human souls, and so were subhuman, and incapable of understanding Christian doctrine. This meant that it was not wrong to rape, torture, enslave or kill them. Living men could be dismembered for fun, and their limbs fed to dogs. Babies could be seized and have their heads dashed against rocks. This was no more a sin than killing an animal ie not sinful at all. Not all authorities agreed with this view. One Dominican in particular, Bartolomé de Las Casas, championed the rights of the native peoples, but he was almost a lone voice. In any case his objections to killing babies could be easily accommodated. Priests baptised native infants before their brains were dashed out. Now, if the babies did have souls they were assured of immediate admission into Heaven. If they didn"t have souls, then it didn"t matter anyway You can read an English translation of the full text of De Las Cases's exposé here.
As in Europe the holy sites of the locals were destroyed, or in some cases taken over as Christian holy sites. The Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de los Remedios (Church of Our Lady of Remedies) is a 16th century Mexican Catholic parish church built on top of the pyramid of Quetzalcoatl in Cholula in the central Mexican state of Puebla, the largest pyramid of the ancient world. A pyramid shrine to the Aztec god Huitzilopochtli was destroyed by Franciscan monks under Pedro del Monte. They used the stones and the foundation of the shrine to build a Christian house for themselves, later a Franciscan monastery, now the Mexican Museo Nacional de las Intervenciones.
The Conquistadores killed millions of the indigenous inhabitants of what are now Mexico and the Yucatan. Before the conquest the population is believed to have numbered some 25 million immediately after it fewer than seven million. By 1650 only about one and a half million pure-blooded natives remained18. The pattern in Peru was much the same: Christianity almost destroyed the Inca civilisation. Knowledge of their written language, like that of the Mayans and the Aztecs, was somehow "lost", although it had been well enough known when the Spanish arrived. Our knowledge of their culture is fragmentary. Following traditional Christian techniques, temples were pulled down to be replaced by cathedrals. Whole cities were destroyed, and new Christian ones constructed. For example modern Mexico City stands on the site of the Aztec city of Tenochtitlán and its cathedral on the site of one of the greatest Aztec temples. Some remote cities that survived for a time were concealed under encroaching jungle and have only recently been rediscovered. We know the Incas were great artists because some of their art has survived. As luck would have it they depicted medical topics on their pottery. This is how we know of their spectacular accomplishments in surgery. We know of their interest in public health through the ruins of their bathing establishments and drainage systems.
Columbus was a Catholic hero, his cruel excesses lauded by his Church.
His tomb stands in Sevilles cathedral. A catafalue is held aloft by four allegorical crowned figures in Catholic priestly vestments, representing the four Catholic kingdoms of Spain during Columbus life, Aragon (front left bearer), Castille (front right), Navarre (rear left), and Leon (rear right - hidden).
When Roman Catholics from Portugal arrived in the Americas, their record was much the same as that of the Spanish Catholics, except that they did not trouble to find a euphemism for slavery. Since the Portuguese arrived in the sixteenth century, the native population of what is now called Brazil has fallen by over 95 per cent from an estimated 5,000,000 to around 220,000 by the late twentieth century. The indigenous peoples of South American probably owe their survival to the size of their continent. If it had been smaller, with no remote areas to flee to, their fate might have been the same as their extinct island cousins.
In North America the picture was similar. The Native American population was reduced from 14,000,000 to around 4,000,000 between 1492 and 160019. In God's own country the only good Indian was a dead one, and the only good Indian nation was one that had been exterminated. Nations and tribes were systematically erased. As churchmen noted, the dramatic reduction in one population after another must have been arranged by God to make way for Christian colonisation. God was killing, or helping kill, millions of Native Americans in order to help the Christian colonisers. The modern explanation is that European diseases were to blame. But this is difficult to square with the facts. No doubt European diseases to which the Native Americans had no natural immunity played a part but, as in Hispaniola, disease can account for only part of the death toll. Another curiosity is that non-Christian Europeans, notably Scandinavians, had been visiting North America for centuries without their gods perceiving the need to exterminate native populations indeed apparently without causing any harm at all. The genocide brought by the new arrivals was, as they said themselves, related to Christianity. Perhaps the Churches were right. Perhaps God really did help in the genocide.
The sentiment below has been expressed by leaders of several peoples persecuted by Christians (Bartolomé de Las Casas for example also recorded much the same sentiment following a conversation with a South American survivor, who reasoned that his Christian persecutors would all be in heaven and everyone he knew and respected would be in hell)
In North America, hunting Indians with dogs was known as the Spaniard's method. It was advocated by Cotton Mather and other clergymen. Reverend Solomon Stoddard, one of New England's most esteemed religious leaders, formally proposed in 1703 to the Massachusetts Governor that the colonists be given the financial wherewithal to purchase and train large packs of dogs 'to hunt Indians as they do bears', the reasoning being that dogs would catch many an Indian who would be too light of foot for the townsmen. This was not considered inhuman, for the Indians, in Stoddard's view, "act like wolves and are to be dealt with as wolves." Three years later Massachusetts passed an act for the raising of dogs to better secure the frontier borders20.
prehistoric structures in the world.(4)It was built in an area known as the Bru na Boinne, an ancient landscape near the River Boyne that is dotted with dozens of prehistoric monuments. The area has been tied to many legends, myths, and historical events and Newgrange itself has been associated with gods, kings, chieftains, and warriors.(3)
Newgrange is classified as a passage tomb, a type of
burial monument common to the Neolithic Period. They
are most common in northern Europe and can be
found in the U.K., Ireland, Scandinavia, and Germany.(1)
Passage tombs are usually circular mounds of earth
and stone commonly built on top of hills.(1,5) They have
a passage leading into the interior of the mound that
opens up into one or more chambers in which the
remains of one or more deceased people are laid to
rest. Often, passage tombs are richly decorated with
designs etched into their stones and contain a
multitude of grave goods. This likely means the people
buried in them were highly important to the people
building the tombs and laying them to
rest within them.(5) Newgrange itself once held the
skeletal remains of at least five people, if not more.(1)
Passage tombs in Ireland are commonly built nearby
each other, like cemeteries, and Newgrange is no
exception. The area around it contains nearly 40 other
tombs.(5) Newgrange can also be classified as a cairn- a
type of human-made mound made up of piles of stones
that are commonly associated with memorials or burial
Of all the Stone Age monuments in Ireland, Newgrange is
one of the most famous and one of the largest. The
mound is 249 feet (76 meters) in diameter (about the size
of a city block) and stands 39 feet (12 meters) tall.(1,2)
Within the monument, a 62 foot (19 meters) long
passageway leads from the entrance to a large
main chamber.(2) Forty-three stones make up the
passageway, which is about 5-6 feet (1 1/2- 2 meters)
high.(3) The passage starts out relatively low at the
entrance and becomes taller until it opens up into
the main chamber.(4) This central
chamber has three smaller chambers or
recesses that branch off from it to the
North, South, and West.(2) Originally,
each chamber had a wide, shallow stone
basin within it whose purposes remain
unknown. It is theorized that these
basins may have held the remains of the
dead. However, centuries of grave
robbing, destructive tourism, and
disregard for the site has disrupted the
remains from where they may have
originally been laid.(4) The passageway
and the chambers are all covered by
large stones that make up the roof.(1)
These 17 roof stones were carved on
their exterior side with engraved
channels that directed rainwater
seeping through the cairn away from the roof, keeping the interior almost completely dry.(1,3) No evidence has been found that the roof was replaced or repaired, meaning it has survived thousands of years of weight, weathering, and time without incident. However, some of the stones lining the interior passageway began to lean over due to the massive amount of weight being pressed down on them for the past 5,000 years.(3) The cairn itself is made up of smaller, hand-sized rocks and soil.(3,4) Outside of the tomb, the base of the mound is bordered by nearly 100 large stones called kerbstones, laid end to end.(1,4) The largest of these is nearly 15 feet (4.5 meters) long. Altogether, Newgrange was created from an estimated 200,000 tons of material, all of which were transported, hauled into place, and decorated using stone, wood, and bone tools. The entire monument, including the passageway and cairn, was constructed without concrete or mortar everything was fitted together in just the right way to make a massive structure that has remained standing for over 5,000 years.(3)
Many of the massive stones both inside and
outside the tomb are highly decorated with
engraved geometric designs.(1) The swirls and
spirals found on many of the stones are the most
famous but designs also include parallel lines,
arcs, starbursts, dots, circles, diamonds, and
chevrons.(3) One of the most highly decorated
stones is the so-called Entrance Stone, a
kerbstone believed to have once sealed the
entrance into the tomb.(1,3) Its surface is covered
with dozens of graceful spirals. Each of the three
recesses/inner chambers inside the mound is
covered in engravings, but the most highly
decorated one is by far the northern chamber.
The triple spiral or triskele engraved in its wall is
lit up by the rising sun on the winter solstice
during one of Newgrange's most beloved
The entire tomb is surrounded by a semi-circle of massive standing stones, nicknamed the "Great Circle." Though as many as 38 may have once been installed, only 12 are still standing today. The circle they make up has a diameter of about 340 feet (about 103.5 meters), larger than the circle of stones that make up Stonehenge.(3) Though they are made of different rock types, they are uniform in how they tower over visitors the tallest stands at around 8 feet (2 1/2 meters).(3,4) The Great Circle was built about 2,000 B.C., over 1,000 years after the tomb itself was completed.(3,4)
While the Neolithic people who once occupied the Boyne Valley constructed magnificent monuments that have withstood the passage of time, they left precious little else for archaeologists. How they lived from day to day is largely a mystery to scholars and scientists. Besides megalithic tombs, the builders of Newgrange have left little other imprints on the landscape or in the archaeological record. Artifacts and other physical evidence of them are scarce.(1,2)
What is known about the builders of Newgrange
is that they were probably not Celts. Celtic people
didn't land in Ireland until around 500-300 B.C., a
few thousand years after Newgrange was
completed. This hasn't stopped the monument
from being associated with Celtic mythology or
the Neopagan religious movement inspired by
it.(2) The original builders of Newgrange lived
during the Neolithic Period, which in Ireland
lasted from around 4,000- 2,500 B.C. People had
been living in Ireland for around 4,000 years by
the time Newgrange was built, having first come
over from Britain in boats. The Neolithic or New
Stone Age people were mostly hunter-gatherers
but during this period farming was introduced for
probably the first time on the island. With it came new ideas for raising crops, the first
domesticated animals (cows, sheep, and goats), some of the first pottery vessels, and a larger range of stone tools to work with. Most people lived as subsistence farmers, growing enough crops to help feed themselves while also continuing to hunt, fish, and gather wild plants. They also raised herds of cattle, sheep, and goats. With time, more and more land was cleared to make room for larger field systems and animal pastures.(6)
The Neolithic Period was also when new monuments were being constructed and people began changing how they buried their dead. Large megalithic tombs, including elaborate passage tombs, flourished. Of these, Newgrange is said to be one of the largest and most impressive.(6) While people in Neolithic Ireland were building many kinds of structures to bury their dead, including passage tombs, portal tombs, court tombs, and wedge tombs, they were not being built in the same regions at the same time. Different types of tombs can found mostly grouped together in different areas of Ireland.(6) It's been suggested that this could represent different cultural groups across the island each using their own preferred method of interring their dead.(5) The presence of burnt human bones in many tombs suggests that the dead were often cremated, but many tombs and burial places, including Newgrange, contain a mixture of burnt and unburnt human bones. Their placement within the large and elaborate tombs must have meant these people had been of some high status the monument around them would have taken decades to complete, tons of materials to make, and years of planning and skilled construction to make into a reality.(4)
To complete a monument on the size and scale of Newgrange, the people who made it must have been part of a stable, well-organized community.(2) The resources and materials involved in its construction meant it required not only many laborers, but skilled stone workers as well. It also would have taken quite a dedicated network of communication and transport.(2,3) Many of the larger stones, including the massive kerbstones, show no signs of having been quarried or shaped, meaning they formed naturally. To find the nearly 100 stones that make up the base of Newgrange, its builders would have spent considerable time and effort finding appropriately sized and shaped stones just lying around across the region.(2,3) The stones would have then had to be transported somehow from their source and up the ridge where Newgrange sits.(3) Such a monument would have also cost considerably, meaning whoever created it had the wealth acquire the materials and labor it took to complete. It would have taken several teams of men to scout for materials, transport them to the building site, quarry the smaller stones for the mound, and place stones in exactly the correct spots- all done without mortar to hold the several tons of stones in place to ensure the massive mound stayed put.(2) All in all, the construction of Newgrange would have needed many people of high intelligence, skill, and levels of organization to create.(3) Scientists have estimated that a team of 300 workers could have completed the structure in about 30 years, a monumental project that would have taken up decades of people's lives to
On top of constructing the monument,
many of the stones are intricately
carved or engraved with rich
geometric designs on their surface.(2)
Almost all of the nearly 100
kerbstones lining the outside of the
cairn and every single one of the 43
stones that make up the interior
passageway is decorated with some
kind of design.(3) It's not known
exactly why the stones were carved
with these particular designs or what
significance they had to he artisans.(3)
Most scholars believe they had some
spiritual meaning connected to Newgrange's ritualistic purpose. One of the most famous decorations is the triple spiral or triskele located in the northern chamber, which is designed to be lit up with the rising sun of the winter solstice.(3,4) The design matches a triple spiral located on the entrance stone, leading some scholars to theorize the triskele was a symbol representing a meeting or a doorway between two worlds. Others have interpreted the designs to be alphabets, meditative symbols, musical notes, or even maps. Another scholar theorized it was not the designs themselves but the act of engraving that was more important to the original workers.(4) Others theorize they are simply fanciful designs meant to make the stones look bigger than they are and give them more of a dramatic presence.(3,4) No matter why it was done, such work would have taken the skills of artisans with specialized tools to complete.(2)
Builders and consequent visitors left some artifacts
at Newgrange that managed to survive centuries of
looting, including bone tools and jewelry. Evidence
of trade or contact with the Roman Empire is
obvious by the presence of Roman coins and jewelry
also found in and around the tomb.(1) A cache of
gold objects, called the Conyngham Find, was
discovered by archaeologists in the 1960s and
include two gold torcs, a chain, and two rings which
are now kept at the British Museum. Jewelry,
especially beads and necklaces were common
offerings or grave goods found often in passage
Archaeological evidence points to Newgrange occupying the site of
another, older structure that was torn down and used for materials
to create the newer monument in its place.(2) The cairn is made up
of hand-sized quartz and granite rocks, some of which were
transported as far away as the Wicklow Mountains 70 miles to the
south.(1,2) Some of the larger stones, like the massive kerbstones,
weigh no less than a ton. How they were transported from their
source across the countryside and then up the hill to the building
site is not known, but has been a cause for speculation. Some have
suggested boats were used for long-range transport, given the
site's closeness to the River Boyne.(2) Archaeologist Michael
O'Kelly performed an experiment to test a theory as to how the
stones were then moved up to the construction site. During his
experiment, three men managed to move a 1-ton boulder up a hill
using only rollers made out of timber logs and some rope.(2,4)
Other stones were sourced much closer, including gravel used in
the cairn which is believed to have been quarried from a pit
nearby that has since naturally become a pond.(2)
Before the mound itself was constructed, the chamber and passage were
first installed, topped with large stones that make up the ceiling. The kerbstones that surround the base of the monument were likely next installed. They were moved and then fit into place into holes dug in the ground. The kerbstones are of different sizes but were all fit in such a way that they form an even line at the top of the wall. The whole thing was then topped with the small boulders, rocks, sand, and soil that made up the rounded cairn.(3)
Even though scholars can only speculate and theorize as to
what spiritual purpose Newgrange played in ancient Ireland,
its importance is evident in the fact that it was still being
built upon hundreds of years later. The &ldquoGreat Circle&rdquo of
towering standing stones that surround the monument
were not placed there by the original builders but by later
occupants of the region over 1,000 years after the mound
was first built.(1) Many of the stones still standing were
placed exactly 340 feet (about 103 meters) across from the
other, a measurement that is believed to have some
importance in the ancient world due to how often it can be
observed in other prehistoric sites.(3)
The monument that can be visited today was restored
based on the findings of leading archaeologist Michael
O'Kelly during the 1960s and 1970s. One of the most
striking and controversial parts of the restored monument
is the startling white quartz rocks covering part of the
outside walls.(2) O'Kelly uncovered a nearly solid layer of
white quartz rocks surrounding the structure during his
team's extensive archaeological excavations around
Newgrange. He theorized that the quartz was once part of the
monument's walls, but fell off the structure after centuries of neglect and exposure to the elements. The original structure, he theorized, had the white quartz covering part of its exterior walls, which would have reflected the sunlight to create a dazzling effect that could have been seen for miles. Appropriately, the monument was restored based on this theory to include the brilliant white quartz walls surrounding the entryway that visitors see today.(4) While some, including O'Kelly, claim the addition of the white quartz to the exterior of the monument is accurate to how the original structure would have appeared, others argue it was added for dramatic effect to impress tourists rather than scientific accuracy. Newgrange's appearance following the restoration continues to be a source of debate among the scientific community as well as the local population.(2,4)
Newgrange Through the Millennia
Newgrange was very likely an active spot for spiritual
ceremonies and rituals for several centuries after
being completed.(1) It was important enough for at
least one group of people to add the Great Circle of
standing stones to the monument over 1,000 years
later during the Bronze Age. Scientists believe these
same people may also have built other monuments
nearby, including the circle of wooden timbers
nicknamed &ldquowood henge&rdquo and a special pathway
believed to have been some kind of ceremonial route.
The entire valley may have been treated as a &ldquospiritual theater,&rdquo where ceremonies and rituals were carried out before audiences who gathered to witness the spectacles being performed in front of the numerous ancient monuments.(4) What role Newgrange played in the religious lives of the Neolithic and Bronze Age peoples is not known, but it was not just regarded as a tomb. Considering the time, effort, and resources it took to build, Newgrange likely doubled as an important spiritual center and was used as a setting for ancient religious ceremonies.(1) A great deal of care went into its construction to ensure it would remain standing for centuries to come.(4) The physical structure, however, seems to have outlasted its spiritual importance. Following the Bronze Age, activity at Newgrange declined considerably.(1) It was finally abandoned during the arrival of the Celts, around the beginning of the 3rd Century, B.C. during the Iron Age.(2)
Interest in it flared briefly back to life during the 3rd-4th Centuries A.D., when artifacts from the Roman Empire, including coins and jewelry, were left there by visitors. These could have been religious offerings of some kind or simply objects accidentally dropped by visitors to the tomb. However, most scholars think its more likely that Newgrange may have been the inspiration for the founding of a minor cult focused on ancient spirituality. Much like the modern Neopagan movements, such religious groups would probably have been focused on returning to the simpler, more nature-based spiritual practices of the ancients. Whatever the interest in Newgrange truly was, it didn't last long before it was once again abandoned.(1) This last abandonment of the monument coincided with the arrival of more foreigners: Christian monks. Christian monks and missionaries began coming to Ireland beginning in the 5th Century A.D., spreading their new religion, dismantling older religions, and creating new spiritual structures for people to worship.(2)
Over the next thousand years, the truth of Newgrange was lost to time. Nature began to reclaim the structure until it became a grassy, brush-covered bump on the landscape.(1,4) The area around it became farmland and its status as a religious center was forgotten. Even as people forgot what it really was, the mound still stayed in local memory as a place of some importance. Stories surrounding it were passed down, changed, and remembered by each succeeding generation until truth merged with folklore, legend, and myth.(2) Folk stories claimed it was built by the Tuatha de Danaan, a mythical group of Celtic gods who would later become the fae folk or fairies of Irish folklore.(2,4) One local legend claimed Newgrange was a burial mound where the Tuatha had once buried their chieftains or even their gods.(2,3) Other legends claimed the old high kings of Ireland were laid to rest within the mound after one of them married a member of the Tuatha de Dannan.(2,4) More stories claimed it wasn't a
burial place at all but a palace where the
ancient kings or old gods still lived.(3) Some
stories claimed that travelers who stopped
to camp there for the night would find
unending food and drink would mysteriously
appear from the mound for them to feast
upon.(2) Newgrange has even made its way
into retellings of ancient myths. According to
one version of the legend of Cuchulainn, a
warrior demigod similar to the classical hero
Hercules, he was conceived there when his
mother stopped there for the night and was
visited in her dreams by a god.(2,3) It also
appears in another mythological tale about two
tragic lovers, Diarmuid and Grainne. According to
one version of their story, Diarmuid was betrayed by one of his
dearest friends and as a result and was said to be buried within Newgrange.(2,4) Legend states the Celtic god Aengus brought Diarmuid to Newgrange, where he was taken in by the fairy folk who lived in it the story ends by suggesting Newgrange was not really a burial site but actually a gateway to a magical world of everlasting youth.(4) Other legends mixed myths with reality. Newgrange was said to be the place where two mythological figures, the Celtic sun god Aengus Og and his wife Caer, fell in love and took the form of swans.(3,4) The area around the monument is actually a place where whooper swans gather during their winter migration.(3) In Celtic mythology, Aengus Og was the son of the goddess of the Boyne River, which flows next to Newgrange.(4)
Even though it is featured in several tales and
stories, Newgrange got its name not from its
prehistoric roots or mythological connections but
from a Medieval farming community. In the 16th
Century, a newly built abbey of monks came to
own the land on which the tomb was located,
turning it into farmland. Another word for a farm
was "grange," so the area was named New
Grange after the new farm. The abbey
was closed in 1531, but the name remained.(2)
Newgrange remained a simple, grass-covered
bump on the landscape until the end of the 17th
Century. In 1699, the then-current landowner
knew from locals that the mound contained stones
that were perfect as building materials. Needing stones to make improvements
to his farm, he sent men to quarry the rocks. As they removed the rocks, they found and removed a large, flat stone near the base of the mound. Behind it, they were astounded to find a dark passageway going into the hill, decorated with amazing designs carved into the surface.(1,4) Local news of the discovery spread and attracted the attention of naturalist Edward Lhwyd, who happened to be traveling through the area. He visited Newgrange shortly after its discovery and is responsible for some of the first scholarly descriptions of Newgrange. He also drew the first map of its interior, though it was first believed to be a naturally-occurring cave.(1,2,4) It was only later that he concluded that the entire mound was a man-made structure.(1,4)
After the rediscovery of the passageway in 1699, Newgrange became a popular destination for curious tourists and academics who arrived to explore its depths. It also became a source for varied and sometimes wild speculations for the next several centuries.(1,2) Opinions towards the Irish were at the time and for a long time afterward derogatory and tainted with prejudice. Many believed their ancestors could not have possessed the intelligence, craftsmanship, or skill to construct such a structure.(2,4) One theorist was convinced the monument was built by ancient Phoenicians as a landmark for their travels by boat up the River Boyne or as a tomb for one of their chieftains. Another suggested it was built by the ancient Romans as a temple to the god Mithras, which was likely fueled by the discovery of Roman coins within the structure.(1,4) Others still speculated it was created by Viking invaders. One person even theorized it was created by a migrating group of ancient Egyptians.(2) Though Lhwyd described the structure as rather primitive, he was one of the only early scholars to believe Newgrange was actually built by the ancient Irish. Up until the 20th Century, just about every other scholar attributed its construction to other civilizations thought to be far more "sophisticated."(4)
Besides academics and scholars, tourists and
treasure seekers were also eager visitors shown
into the tomb by a succession of landowners and
locals who acted as tour guides. Up until the
mid-1900s, visitors could be given a tour of the
monument by a number of locals who lead the
way into the dark tomb lit only by a candle,
lantern, or electric torch. Some visitors even
walked away with a "souvenir" in the form of
stolen grave goods, stones, or even bits of human
bone.(2,4) Many visitors were there for the
excitement of exploring the mysterious
monument but others were more interested in
the wealth believed to be hidden somewhere
inside its chambers. A stone basins located in one
of the inner chambers was broken by local
treasure hunters who believed gold could be
found underneath it. Not every piece of damage
done to Newgrange was by tourists or tomb
robbers some was done by the landowners to
make it a more attractive tourist destination.
Some of the stones were removed from the
mound itself to create a garden-like area directly
behind it. This may have been an attempt to add
to the wild whimsy of the site during the 19th
Century, when Newgrange was a target for people
who romanticized the untamed isolation of the
Irish countryside. Around the same time, trees
were also planted on top of the monument to add
to its &ldquofairy-mound&rdquo appearance. During archaeological excavations in the 1960s, the tree roots were found to have pierced through and damaged some parts of the monument.(4) Even after the British government took stewardship of the site in 1882 and began conservation efforts, visitors continued to sneak in to wreak havoc to the site, sometimes leaving graffiti or carving their names and initials into the ancient rock.(2,3,4) People had also continued to quarry the mound for stones they used in other construction projects, resulting in many craters within the cairn where rocks have gone missing over the centuries.(3,4)
Stones in the cairn haven't been the only thing to go missing from Newgrange. During the 1800s, one scholar recorded the presence of a "pyramid-shaped stone" in the middle of the main chamber inside the mound. What that stone was is unknown as it has since disappeared has not been mentioned in any other accounts about Newgrange.(3) More features of the tomb have also mysteriously vanished. One historian claimed a tall stone was once stood on top of the mound while another claimed a triangular-shaped stone was located right outside the entryway. These objects have also since disappeared from the site.(4)
While it would be visited by scholars and tourists alike
for several centuries, no archaeological research
was done until the mid-20th Century.(1,2) Professor
Michael O'Kelly made Newgrange the focus of much of his
career, conducting the first in-depth archaeological
research project in and around the structure that spanned
from 1962-1975.(1) Though he doubted the place was the
burial site of ancient gods or could be a portal to the fairy
kingdom, he was inspired by the stories of the Tuatha de
Dannan, Cuchulainn, and other mythological figures
whose stories were tied to the mound. During
archaeological excavations in and around Newgrange, the
team uncovered not only the original monument but over
1,000 artifacts including flint tools, pottery, coins, bones, and assorted objects made from
glass, stone, and metal. Given the extensive history the site has had of visitors, tourists, looters, and robbers, almost none of these objects can be definitely traced back to the original builders. However, some artifacts found deep within its recesses are believed to have been placed there by the first people to construct the tomb: a large pendant shaped like a hammer, stone flakes from flint and serpentine tools, cremated human remains, bone tools, stone marbles, and precious beads that may have once belonged to a piece of jewelry or textile.(4)
O'Kelly was also one of the major influences behind the tomb's preservation and restoration. While it had been a popular attraction since the 17th Century, Newgrange had deteriorated significantly by the time the first archaeological excavations took place.(1) It really wasn't until O'Kelly began work at the site that visitors were actively discouraged from taking objects from or leaving their marks on the tomb.(2) Following extensive excavations that spanned over ten years, the tomb was restored based on O'Kelly's findings and scientific conclusions about what the original monument looked like when it was first completed over 5,000 years ago, with modern additions meant to help stabilize and preserve the overall structure. The cairn's materials were carefully removed in order to install a concrete dome over the passage and chambers to provide protection form the weight of the tons of material that made up the mound. Other larger stones inside and outside of the monument were stabilized and braced to prevent them from topping over or collapsing. It was by no means an easy process the heaviest single stone removed during the excavation and restoration weighed over 10 tons and required a crane to be lifted.(4)
The resulting appearance of the monument
is believed to be fairly accurate to the original
structure but is still a matter of some
controversy and debate. Fans of the mound's
"wild and romantic" appearance prior to the
restoration (when it was covered in brush,
collapsing, and looked like a fairy cave)
complained the restoration made it look
"too modern looking." O'Kelly argued that
the tomb would have looked drastically different
even from its appearance today. The mound
today domed and still covered in green grass,
but O'Kelly's research pointed to the
monument originally being flat-topped like a
drum, with the stones of the cairn exposed and not planted with grass. However,
by far the source of the most debate it the white quartz that covers part of the walls on either side of the entrance. During excavations, O'Kelly's team uncovered a layer of soil made up almost completely of pieces of white quartz in the area immediately surrounding the mound. He theorized that the pieces had once been part of the monument's walls and fell off as the kerbstones fell and the cairn's material collapsed. The finding caused O'Kelly to change his plans to restore the tomb and include the pieces of white quartz embedded into the concrete walls. The decision remains highly controversial today some argue he included it only for dramatic effect rather than scientific accuracy while others state such an addition could have been included in the original monument specifically because of its dramatic effect. The white quartz reflects the sun beautifully and is quite dazzling to the eyes of onlookers for miles around. This would have been eye-catching, beautiful, and could have been another connection between the monument and the sun.(4)
Research done by O'Kelly and his team helped bring attention back to the need to preserve the landmark for future generations.(1) Today, Newgrange is one of Ireland's most well-known and most popular sites.(3) It was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993, recognizing it as a monument that is not only important to understanding Ireland's ancient inhabitants but of the artistic accomplishments of the human race as a whole.(2) While much of the work on Newgrange was done decades ago, the Bru na Boinne is still a rich source of information for scholars about people in the past. New discoveries are being made all the time by archaeologists hoping to unravel thousand-year-old mysteries about its ancient inhabitants, who left such monumental structures for their dead but so little information about themselves.(1)
Why Was It Made- the Winter Solstice Sunrise
Newgrange is part of a larger ancient landscape called Bru na Boinne ("Palace of the Boyne"), located in a valley beside the Boyne River.(1) Bru na Boinne is an area covering about three square miles that contains nearly 100 prehistoric monuments, including nearly 40 tombs like Newgrange.(1,2,4) All of the monuments at Bru na Boinne were built during the Neolithic Period between 3300-2800 B.C.(2) The exact location of each monument is believed to have some special significance in relation to each other.(3) In addition to the monument itself, archaeological excavations immediately around Newgrange found a site nicknamed "wood henge" made up of wooden timbers erected in a circle and a pathway believed to have some ceremonial purpose, perhaps as a procession route for ritual activities.(4) Nearby, four more passage tombs are similarly surrounded by other monuments. This may point to the tombs being at the center of their own individual sites, each being located in the middle surrounded by various smaller monuments that may have been used in religious rituals. These rituals could have been related to the people buried within the tombs or to some more general religious experience relating to death, life, and the passage of time.(3)
While it likely served a much larger purpose, Newgrange was without a doubt used as a final resting place for at least five people.(1) Skeletal remains, three showing signs of cremation and two unburnt, were laid to rest somewhere within the tomb, likely within the three smaller recesses that branch out from the main chamber.(1,2) Only one chamber, the western recess, still had human remains within it when archaeologists started their work in the 20th Century.(2) The other bones were discovered mixed with the earth of the main chamber and passage floor, evidence of being disturbed by early visitors, vandals, and grave robbers.(2,4) It was not just the skeletal remains of people that were found inside the mound the bones of at least three dogs were discovered in the inner chambers as well. It's not known if these dogs were left there intentionally as offerings or sacrifices or if they were just unfortunate strays who died after finding their way into the tomb. Large amounts of bones from other animals have also been found scattered within the cairn, but like the dogs, it's yet unknown if these were modern animals who found their way inside the cairn or were ancient sacrifices left there thousands of years ago.(3)
Even though without a doubt the monument was primarily a tomb,
evidence shows Newgrange was not just a burial place for people to be
laid to rest and then immediately forgotten. It was very much an active
religious site for several centuries and was visited by ancient people
long after construction was complete.(1,2) How important it was to the
people who visited it and what role exactly it played in ancient
spirituality is one of the most highly theorized facts about the
monument. Even if the answer behind Newgrange's original purpose
was found, its role in Irish spirituality likely changed over the
thousands of years it was active. Edward Lhwyd theorized it was a
place where the ancient Irish buried their dead, made sacrifices, and
worshiped their deities. He believed the stone basins in the center of
the three recesses were there to catch sacred water as it dripped down
through the cairn however, since the roof is specifically carved to dete
r water from entering the interior of the mound this is unlikely to be
true. He also theorized the basins may have been placed there to catch
the blood of sacrificial victims instead. Lhwyd wasn't the only person to
attribute Newgrange to sacrifice. Ancient scholars and historians from
Greece and Rome often claimed the people of the British Isles practiced
human sacrifice, which was considered proof of how barbaric and violent they were. The idea was often treated as fact and was passed down through the millennia to later academics. Scholars of the 1700s commonly thought Newgrange was a place where druidic priests sacrificed human victims to pagan or demonic forces. Little to no evidence has been shown that human sacrifice was practiced at Newgrange, but still, it's been a hard stereotype to shake.(4)
Modern scholars mostly dismiss the idea that Newgrange was a setting for human sacrifice but the most prevailing theory today still is that Newgrange served as some highly important religious site and was an active ceremonial center for several centuries. Little is known about Neolithic spirituality, but some architectural details have lead to theories as to what the ceremonies and rituals practiced specifically at Newgrange may have focused on.(1,2) Given its status as a burial place, at least some of these ceremonies may have been performed to honor the dead. If some of the designs do indeed represent a meeting between the worlds of the living and the dead as some scholars have theorized, some of these rituals may have focused on Newgrange acting as a kind of spiritual doorway or portal where the worlds of the living, dead, and divine met.(1)
Even if the monument did have something to do with the dead,
the most popular theory today is that Newgrange mainly
represented some ancient spiritual beliefs about the passage
of time. This theory is largely fueled by Newgrange's most
famous characteristic. For a short time during the year, a
small hole in the roof aligns perfectly with the sun rising on
the morning of the Winter Solstice, allowing the sunlight to
illuminate the interior of the tomb.(1,2) Also called a roof-box
or a false lintel, this hole was originally covered by an
elaborately carved stone above the entrance. Upon being
removed, it reveals a carved, box-like space. The interior end
of the box facing inside the tomb was &ldquoshuttered&rdquo by two
quartz stones that showed evidence of having been removed
and replaced many, many times.(4) During the five days
surrounding the winter solstice (the shortest day of the year
and officially dated as December 21st) , this hole allows a
beam of sunlight to fall directly down the passageway to light
up two of the chambers inside the normally dark tomb.(1,2)
Most dramatically, the light falls upon the famous triple spiral
carved into the northern chamber.(4) It only lasts
approximately 17 minutes and only occurs during a handful
of days in the year.(3) This phenomenon was first recorded by
O'Kelly during his extensive work on the tomb during the 1960s,
but was a known phenomenon among locals long before then.(1,3)
The alignment of Newgrange's passageway with the sun as well as the positioning of the hole in the roof with the solstice sunrise is not believed to be a coincidence. The accuracy of the alignment is theorized to be a deliberate detail included by the structure's original builders that had something to do with the tomb's religious purpose.(1) Exact measurements and planning would have had to have been conducted not only of the roof box but of the location of Newgrange itself. The architecture not only captures the light of the sunrise down the interior passageway but maximizes the amount of time the light shines into the tomb.(3) Given this, the monument may have been built for some spiritual connection specifically to the sun.(1) More evidence to support this theory may be found in other sites in the area. From Newgrange, the winter solstice sunrise appears from behind a hill in the distance on the other side of the Boyne River called Red Mountain, named for the color the sunrise paints the hill. It then sets over another hill called Realtoge, or "Star." The names of these places and the sun's movements at this time of year could be additional evidence that Newgrange's purpose (or at least one of its purposes) had to do with the sun's passage on the Winter Solstice.(3)
Combined with the other factors of the monument, one
theory suggests that perhaps Newgrange's purpose was
to actually measure astronomical phenomena or the
passage of time. Newgrange itself is believed to have
been so accurately constructed around the winter solstice
that it could have been used as a type of calendar or device
that predicted the exact day the solstice would occur.
This would mean that the Winter Solstice was an
especially important day of the year for the ancient Irish,
important enough that entire monuments were dedicated
Whatever original purpose it once served, Newgrange
today is one of the country's most famous and most
beloved ancient sites. Thanks to Michael O'Kelly and
generations of archaeologists, historians, scholars,
and conservators, Newgrange is protected and
preserved so that it can be visited by new generations
each year to learn and enjoy a part of ancient history.
It receives hundreds of thousands of visitors every
year from every corner of the globe and has become
one of the most sought-after places to be in late December. Every year,
people submit their names to be chosen to observe the mystical Winter Solstice sunrise in person as light filters through the roof box to illuminate the inner passageway and chambers.(1,2) Names are chosen by lottery and though thousands of applications are submitted, only 20 people every morning are allowed to see it happen for themselves during the five days the alignment occurs.(1,4) Many choose to be there outside of the tomb where they may not be able to see it for themselves but still desire to be at the site during the magical time of year. Some feel a spiritual connection and many modern spiritualists, New Age religious followers, and Neopaganists flock to the site on what is believed to be a special significant period of time.(1)
(1)Silver, Carly. "Newgrange: The Massive Irish Tomb That's Older Than the Pyramids." All That is Interesting. https://allthatsinteresting.com/newgrange-ireland (Accessed December 5, 2019).
(2)Mark, Joshua J. "Newgrange." Ancient History Encyclopedia. https://www.ancient.eu/Newgrange/ (Accessed December 5, 2019).
(4)Voices from the Dawn Editors. "Newgrange." Voices from the Dawn. https://voicesfromthedawn.com/newgrange/ (Accessed December 12, 2019).
(5)Encyclopedia Britannica Editors. "Neolithic Period in Ireland." Encyclopedia Britannica. https://www.britannica.com/place/Ireland/Neolithic-Period (Accessed December 19, 2019).
(6)Irish Archaeology Editors. "Timeline." Irish Archaeology. http://irisharchaeology.ie/work/ (Accessed December 20, 2019).
(title image)Irish Central Staff. "Ireland's anicent history: Newgrange, in County Meath." Digital image. Irish Central. August 7, 2019. Accessed January 25, 2020.
(2B)AVEA Staff. "Brú na Bóinne (Newgrange and Knowth)." Digital image. Association of Visitor Experiences and Attractions. Accessed January 25, 2020.
(3C)Boyne Valley Garden Trail Staff. "Boyne Valley Garden Trail." Digital image. Boyne Valley Garden Trail. Accessed January 25, 2020.
(4D)O'Kelly, Michael. "Plan and sectional elevation of the passage and chamber before excavation." Digital image. Newgrange.com. 1960s. Accessed January 25, 2020.
(5E)Artist Unknown. "Ground plan of Newgrange." Digital image. Art History Leaving Cert (Blog). Accessed January 25, 2020.
(6F)Newgrange.com Staff. "9:06am - The sunbeam from the opening over the door travels all the way to the
chamber." Digital image. Newgrange.com. December 18, 2011. Accessed January 25, 2020.
(7G)Lynch, Brian. "Burial chamber: "The remains that they find in the passage tombs are generally cremated," says Clare Tuffy, manager of Brú na Bóinne Visitor Centre. "But they can identify that the remains are from adults and children, male and female. We imagine they were families of very high status, or families that perhaps had a direct link to the ancestors who founded the Boyne Valley."" Digital image. CNN. Accessed January 25, 2020.
(8H)Lynch, Brian. "Winter Solstice: Each year, between December 19 and 23, hundreds gather at dawn at this prehistoric tomb. A lucky few will have won entry by lottery -- in 2016 just one in 545 applicants got the chance." Digital image. CNN. Accessed January 25, 2020.
(9I)Photographer Unknown. "The pre-excavation appearance of Newgrange in 1950." Digital image. 1950. The Sacred Island. Accessed January 25, 2020.
(10J)Tempest Collection of National Library of Ireland. "The entrance to Newgrange in the early 1900s, after much of the debris had been cleared." Digital image. Wikipedia. 1900-1910. Accessed January 25, 2020.
(11K)Welch, R. "Entrance to the Great Cairn of New Grange, on the Boyne, Near Drogheda." Digital image. 1880. Accessed January 25, 2020.
(12L)Bru na Boinne Visitor Center Staff. "Looking out from inside Newgrange. Here's hoping for sun at Winter Solstice. Looking forward to meeting our Solstice Lottery Winners . some travelling from half way across the Earth." Digital image. Bru na Boinne Visitor Center Facebook Page. December 7, 2019. Accessed January 25, 2020.
(13M)Photographer Unknown. "Triple Spiral." Digital image. Ancient Origins. Accessed January 25, 2020.
(14N)Photographer Unknown. "Newgrange gold hoard in the British Museum." Digital image. Wikimedia. March 30, 2014. Accessed January 25, 2020.
(15O)National Monuments Service. "The roof-box structure, revealed after the cairn had been removed. The two projecting slabs below the decorated lintel have been stabilised with some small stones by this point to allow the safe removal of the capstones by crane." Digital image. Boyne Valley Tombs (Blog). 1960s. Accessed January 25, 2020.
(16P)Demetrescu, J. "Kerbstone 57, Newgrange Passage Tomb, County Meath." Digital image. Saints and Stones. 2005. Accessed January 25, 2020.
(17Q)Clarke, Arthur. "Michael J' O'Kelly featured in Arthur C Clarke's Mysterious World published in 1980." Digital image. Newgrange.com. 1980. Accessed January 25, 2020.
(18R)Winter, Luke. "The next stage of the operation was to move it from the delivery point to the intended pulling route. This was done with the help of volunteers recruited for the morning. The frozen ground helped this stage and fears of the rollers bogging in were unfounded." Digital image. Historic Concepts LTD. Accessed January 25, 2020.
(19S)Armstrong, Philip. "The permanent settlement of a farming community in Ireland during the Neolithic Age." Digital image. An Sionnach Fionn. Accessed January 25, 2020.
(20T)Murphy, Anthony. "Whooper swans at Newgrange." Digital image. Mythical Ireland. Accessed January 25, 2020.
(21U)Francis, Paul. "The "woodhenge" and pit circle of the Early Bronze Age, (c. 2000 BCE) stood beside the Newgrange passage tomb, which was no longer in use by that time. But the site was still a focal point for ritual and celebration." Digital image. Voices from the Dawn. Accessed January 25, 2020.
(22V)de Leun, Van. "One Moment in Time: The Winter Solstice Seen from Newgrange." Digital image. American Digest. Accessed January 25, 2020.
V. Who Was Schliemann?
More than changing the general perception of Troy as pure myth into a reflection of history, Schliemann has become a legend of sorts himself, and deservedly so. Call his Troy Homer’s or not, this “Father of Mediterranean Archaeology” accomplished many important things. Because of his work, for instance, the world realized the value of unearthing ancient sites in a systematic fashion. Ironically, for all he played up to the press and glamorized the treasures he found, Schliemann popularized archaeology as something more than digging for gold. More important yet, his induction of a generation of students into scientific archaeology led the academic community to stress meticulous and thorough record-keeping at sites, along with the careful analysis of all finds. His disciples would go on to seed programs in archaeology worldwide.
Portrait of Heinrich Schliemann / Wikimedia Commons
Indeed, Schliemann’s records both of the excavations he conducted and of his business and personal affairs were so comprehensive it wasn’t until recently that scholars began to comb through them. It didn’t help that, as a master of language, Schliemann wrote them in quite a few different tongues. There probably aren’t ten people alive today who have the sort of linguistic aptitude he did—along with the command he had of certain languages—so there are few people who can actually read everything he left behind. Therefore, to sift through all of Schliemann’s writings requires a collective effort, arguably out of proportion to the rewards it might deliver. Thus, for a long time his voluminous archive simply wasn’t read.
But over the last few decades classical scholars have been exploring Schliemann’s diaries, with very interesting results. While much of what he recorded was light-hearted, some mere practice exercises at various foreign languages—these entries as such were probably never intended for public consumption—all the same they reveal disturbing tendencies in Schliemann’s character. For example, he writes of meeting people whom he could never have met, such as the American President Millard Fillmore. At another point in his diaries, Schliemann details his involvement in a devastating fire in San Francisco at the same time, however, his own carefully documented itinerary proves he missed this event by several days.
And more directly incumbent on archaeology, his diaries also contradict the story he told of his wife’s assistance in smuggling “Priam’s Treasure” out of Turkey. They show, without doubt, it couldn’t have happened the way he said it did, because she wasn’t even with him at Troy when “Priam’s Treasure” was dug up. His own records even cast doubt over his tale of hearing the Trojan saga at his father’s knee, instilling in him the lifelong dream of discovering the city. At least, there is no mention of such aspirations until a convenient moment much later in his life, after he had unearthed “Troy.”
It’s not clear how important all this really is. In the end, it comes down to whether one chooses to label Schliemann an inveterate liar or a hopeless romantic, and whether or not his penchant for refracting the truth affected in any significant way his work as an archaeologist. Even without his diaries and accounts, few would say Schliemann was not a man possessed of strong imagination—pioneers usually are—the issue is, did the fantasies well-evidenced in his writings pervade his scientific work as well as his personal life?
Unfortunately, there is some evidence it did. For instance, it has been suggested more than once that “Priam’s Treasure” seems to be a collection of artifacts belonging to different periods, as we noted above, leading many to suspect that Schliemann gathered them from various graves and sites in and around Troy and later concocted a more newsworthy story of their discovery. His tale, replete with hidden treasure, female guile and bumbling Turkish guards, makes for a fairly theatrical script, in fact, almost the same plot as Mozart’s opera The Abduction from the Seraglio.
But it’s hard to assess this fairly now, because later in life Schliemann donated “Priam’s Treasure” to the Berlin Museum where it stayed until 1945. In the chaos of the siege of Berlin at the end of World War II, Schliemann’s Trojan treasure simply disappeared. The assumption was it had fallen into the hands of black-market art dealers and either was in a private collection somewhere—if so, it couldn’t be put on public display without being confiscated by international authorities—or had been melted down because it couldn’t be resold as such. In any case, without the treasure itself, there was no way to analyze and date it conclusively.
But in 1994, all that changed. With the disintegration of the Soviet Union, Russian authorities acknowledged that “Priam’s Treasure” had for fifty years been housed in their land—some of it was in the Pushkin Museum in Moscow and some in the Hermitage in St. Petersburg—Russian soldiers during World War II had, in fact, seized and smuggled it out of Germany. Now the hostage of several claims originating in at least three different countries (Germany, Russia and Turkey), the Trojan hoard is back in the public eye. Hopefully, answers about its nature and origin will one day be forthcoming.
But other controversies continue to swirl around Schliemann and his legacy to archaeology. The most sensational of these surrounds the so-called “Mask of Agamemnon.” Though it’s not clear that the particular one now called the “Mask of Agamemnon” is the same that Schliemann first referred to by that name, he later allowed the famous bearded mask to bear that designation. It is far and away the most presentable of the masks Schliemann discovered in Mycenae, lacking the bulging eyes and puffed cheeks that make several of the others look by modern standards ridiculous. In fact, the “Mask of Agamemnon” is particularly modern in its appearance, including a handle-bar moustache, something highly unusual in ancient art. More than one art historian has noted it looks remarkably like Schliemann himself, or perhaps Schliemann’s idol, King Ludwig of Bavaria.
A known mask forgery / Wikimedia Commons
The Significance of Gold
In the cultures of ancient Colombia gold had long been a popular material for metalworkers. The metal actually had no particular value as currency other than as a raw material for exchange and, indeed, it seems that, unlike in other Americas cultures, gold was not limited to the nobility but also owned by lower strata of society. Rather than its intrinsic value, then, gold was esteemed because of its lustre, incorruptibility, spiritual associations (especially concerning the sun), and workability in the hands of craftsmen. Skilled Muisca artisans produced stunning works of art using the full range of the goldsmith’s repertoire, especially the lost-wax technique.
Gold and gold alloy artworks were offered in vast quantities to the gods and buried at sacred locations so that the balance of the cosmos was maintained and natural disasters averted. Very often the offerings were figurines known as tunjos which represented in fine detail people carrying objects such as shields, weapons and musical instruments. The most famous example of a tunjo is a golden raft with cast figures wearing jewellery standing upon it, the significance of which is discussed below. The raft was found in a clay vessel inside a cave and it now resides in the Museo del Oro in Bogotá.
So driven were they by their thirst for riches, the official Spanish government objective of exploration in northern South America was, in fact, to find gold, melt it down and ship as large a quantity as possible back to Europe. The association between ancient Colombia and the precious metal is further reflected in the Spanish King’s choice of name for his new territory: Castillo del Oro. Of all the stories of gold and emeralds scattered across ancient Colombia there was one particular tale which especially aroused the interest of the Spanish invaders. This was an account, reported by eye-witnesses, which involved the lavish ceremonies performed during the coronation of a Muisca king.
The ISIL Crisis is not Over.
Writing on Archaeology for the Wider Public
Collectors' Corner: Citizen Archaeologist, "If you think this is not a real artifact, you are a fool"
If you don't think this is a genuine unmodified by modern man artifact then you're a fool and should buy a fake. This is a magnificent multi use tool. It is a mixer and or paint pot, a scraper as seen in chert on the lower left hand side, a sharpener also on the left side above the scraper and a hammer stone/crusher/pounder. And it is Effigy of Man. What is paramount to know is that it fits into the hand so snugly that a sheet of paper can barely make it through. Every fold of the palm fits like a glove. There are hafted grooves for the thumb and fingers. The hafted base is darkened from skin oils. It is genuine.
Paleolithic , Neolithic or so called "cave men" aka Early Man walked the karst topography of the Ozark Plateau so many years ago. He used the rocks stones shells bone and wood for implements to crush, shape, mix that which sustained him.
There are no signs that he used arrows as the Indian of the 17th 18th and 19th century did.
There are no signs that he was violent toward others so there are no war clubs .
But they were afraid of something as seen in the countless Effigy Stones of what I call "Man Aghast" which depicts the open mouth and wide eyed look of fright.
This is depicted in all different rock types and in all sizes.
Early Man also made stone Zoomorphic figures. Here on the Ozark Plateau it was Turtle Duck Fish and Lizard which is what was the food source along with nuts (Hickory Walnut etc.) and berries and fruits (Persimmon etc) as well as grasses roots and grains.
As many of us know, we have been lied to about our history, the Earth and just about everything else.
So called 'Science' absolutely refuses to acknowledge a Divine Intelligence that Created All Life.
Evolution is still taught in schools!
Man is Man and Ape is Ape.
I have sold the stone tools that I have found all over the world to museums and schools as well as private collectors and all of them have been scientifically tested. I guarantee their authenticity and offer a 30 day return. The exact location of where this tool was found will be included. Thank-you!
Provenance: Ownership History Available
This is a class or grouping or collection or cache or bunch of or period of tools of early man which are almost exclusively made from Chert which is like flint in that it is a very hard stone and becomes sharp when broken hafted knapped whacked off and Sandstone. It is uncleaned and found as is. Hasn't been all "dolled up" or fake polished. You know, it amazes me the "artifacts" that I see on Ebay. One would think that those who lived before us and without electricity that had to find and hunt down then prepare their own food and do all the essentials of life using just rocks, would have a much broader amount of implements.(which they did) So you'd think that there would be more than. arrowheads, grooved axes, bannerstones and the occasional gorget. But that is all you see on Ebay. Can you imagine if we were shown as being so simplistic? That the future people thought that we didn't possess more than a hammer, saw and wrench? And only one type of wrench? So please ,do you really think that all you see on Ebay is all there is? And the exorbitant prices charged. How elitist. Pricing something so high that it puts it out of reach for those that want to hold a piece of way back history in their hand is just greedy selfish and f-cked up. So, let's go over some quick facts.
Darwin was wrong
Smithsonian is a big fat liar
Earth was not created by the banging of two rocks together. aka the Big Bang
Not all stone tool implements are highly stylized.. No time for that, they just needed a rock which would do the job, crush a nut, strip a reed, sharpen another rock, mix together some stuff be it paint or medicine, scrap a hide, clean a finger nail, sew a garment and the biggie, Start Fire!! Go on go try to start a fire with just what you find on the ground.
That said, I have been collecting and artifact hunting for over 12 years now and have amassed hundreds of ancient stone tools which I know intimately and love every single one. They line every bookcase, tabletop and railing around me. I have effigy scrapers that sit next to my printer and when I put paper in I stop and admire them for the one hundredth time. Shoot I have a translucent bear effigy knife sitting on my laptop as I write this, and although I found him years ago I took it off the shelf to gaze in wonderment once again. And I am gonna' start listing many of them. For if they can give to someone else the sense of awe and joy that they give me, all the better. Funny but true, I actually say goodbye to the stone tool artifacts that I sell and miss them! If you have gotten this far in my ranting then you must be cool and know what I'm talking about.
I guarantee that all I list is unaltered by modern man, is not a fluke of nature, will pass any and all scientific testing because they are what they are authentic artifacts of those who walked before us. I have sold to museums, schools and private collectors worldwide. All are found on private land.
In reality, the photos show an odd-shaped (but naturally shaped) cobble.
I think the point about this is, this is what historiography of collectors looks like. These are not 'citizen archaeologists', they are misinformed fantasists utilising a 'it looks like' pseudo-methodology to interpret the objects they have found or otherwise got their hands on. This is coupled with a self-delusion of their own 'common sense' abilities that trumps those of the experts (the familiar 'who needs experts?') who are seen here as not only mistaken, but also elitists and liars. This is 'karaoke antiquitism' where in the absence of academic scruitiny, checks and need for any form of substantiation, 'anything goes' and often does. It seems to me that archaeologists that let this pass with a shrug of the shoulders, and not only tolerate and condone artefact collecting, but even encourage it, are missing the emergence of an important phenomenon, a public that has no idea of the difference between real archaeology and fake archaeology - and actually does not care. If that is the result, then questions may be asked whether we need the (more expensive) real archaeology at all. Why bother if everyone can just pick up a stone that 'hefts' well, and make up their own fantastic story about the past. There are many 'stone fondling fantasisers' like this on on ebay. Not only are they putting stuff like rthis up with their fulsome narrativisation, they are finding many other members of the public that are not only listening and buying them, but then posting comments full of exultant praise of the seller and the artefact they have come to own to display to their friends and families - spreading the stories.
Irish Neolithic Sites At Risk From Vandals and Treasure Hunters - History
National Geographic's Diggers! - The description for an episode called "Digging Dixie" says KG and Ringy hit the beaches along Charleston, S.C. Hurricanes may be a nightmare for homeowners, but they are heaven-sent for treasure hunters. Storms far out at sea often churn up the shoreline, revealing all kinds of treasure, or juice, as they call it.
- The National Geographic Society has announced they will work with the archaeological community to provide a more educated and ethical depiction of archaeology. - Because this series declares a lack of concern for historical accuracy or the importance of context in understanding historic and prehistoric artifacts, it has been opposed by the Society for American Archaeology (letter), Society for Historical Archaeology (letter), American Anthropological Association (letter), Archaeological Institute of America, and Register of Professional Archaeologists. - A neutral discussion of both sides of this issue is provided by Science Magazine's ScienceInsider "Archaeologists Protest 'Glamorization' of Looting on TV".
National Geographic's Nazi War Diggers - Their description says:
National Geographic Channel Pulls 'Nazi War Diggers' Series By TOM MASHBERG New York Times March 31, 2014, 7:08 pm
National Geographic Channel said Monday that it would "indefinitely" pull a planned television series on unearthing Nazi war graves after days of blistering criticism from archeologists and others who said the show handled the dead with macabre disrespect.
The channel said that after "consulting with colleagues" at the National Geographic Society, it would not broadcast the series, "Nazi War Diggers," in May as scheduled "while questions raised in recent days regarding accusations about the program can be properly reviewed." The show was to have been broadcast globally except in the United States.
National Geographic Channel International had commissioned four episodes of the show, in which two British metal detecting specialists, a Polish relics hunter, and an American, Craig Gottlieb, who deals in Nazi World War II artifacts, hunt for the graves of German and Red Army soldiers on the Eastern Front.
National Geographic Channel issued a statement Friday defending the show and saying the criticism was premature, based on early publicity materials that "did not provide important context about our team's methodology." The channel pulled those materials from its website.
SpikeTV's American Digger - The show will feature "recovery expert" Rue Shumate and "battlefield historian" Bob Buttafuso and its description says:
- Their activities in St. Augustine have been criticized by local archaeologists -- see Spike TV Network crew finds 'Spanish gold' in backyard. - The Society for American Archaeology (letter), Society for Historical Archaeology (letter), American Anthropological Association (letter), Archaeological Institute of America, and Register of Professional Archaeologists all oppose this show's ethics. - A neutral discussion of both sides of this issue is provided by Science Magazine's ScienceInsider "Archaeologists Protest 'Glamorization' of Looting on TV". - Their activities in St. Augustine have been criticized by local archaeologists -- see Spike TV Network crew finds 'Spanish gold' in backyard.
The Travel Channel's Dig Wars - The description says: "Dig Wars follows 3 teams of America's best relic hunters, competing to find the most valuable artifacts at different historical locations across the country. The teams have from sunrise to sunset to hunt for artifacts . who will dig up the most valuable find?" - The American Anthropological Association has protested this newest reality sh ow assault on our cultural heritage. President Mullings' letter (PDF) gives a detailed overview of the show and suggestions to rethink the show.s direction towards a productive and entertaining piece.
The following periodicals have published special issues or regularly contain commentary, articles, or letters on relevant topics.
For archaeological views, see: Culture Without Context Newsletter of the Near Eastern Project of the Illicit Antiquities Research Centre. Archaeology Magazine is a popular magazine which frequently has useful articles. Especially see volume 44 number 3 for a series of letters on looting, and their Archaeology Watch postings, which include a series of topical archives such as: threats to cultural heritage, Hague Convention acquisition policies, UNESCO Convention, legal cases, underwater heritage, and a variety of countries. The Journal of Field Archaeology has a regular feature called the "Antiquities Marketplace: News and Commentary on the Illicit Trade in Antiquities". African Arts (1995) volume 28, number 4, had a special issue called "Protecting Mali's Cultural Heritage" (articles listed below). Biblical Archaeology Review (BAR) has regular editorials and letters to its editor on relevant topics. The Society for American Archaeology (SAA) SAA Bulletin has three regular columns of interest:
- "Archaeopolitics" occasionally carries relevant items on policy & polictics
- "Working Together" carries articles about crossing the boundaries between "professional" archaeology and other realms, such as partnerships with Native Americans
- "From the Ethics Committee" is a new feature starting in Vol 16, and will be published three times a year by the Society for American Archaeology's Standing Committee on Ethics (see below) "River, Rocks, and Time" is a regular feature, a blog by Deb Twigg, Executive Director of the Susquehanna River Archaeological Center of Native Indian Studies (SRAC). She regularly touches on the ethics of archaeology and the sale of artifacts
For a perspective from the side of the collectors, see: Indian-Artifact Magazine tends to carry editorials, letters, and short articles which exemplify or state the collector's view. Treasure Quest Magazine tends to carry editorials, letters, and short articles which exemplify the salvor or collector's view.
C. Books & Articles
Published books and articles, including online publications.
Cameron, Catherine 1997 The loss of cultural heritage - an international perspective. Nonrenewable Resources 6(2) - This is a collection of papers on historic preservation, looting, and antiquities trafficking, including Karen Vitelli & Anne Pyburn (archaeology and development) Ricardo Elia (looting & antiquities) Stephen Lekson (museums & antiquities market) Roderick McIntosh, Boubacar Hama Diaby, & Tereba Togola (on indigeneous efforts to protect cultural objects) Mark Michael (on Archaeological Conservancy) Frederick Lange & Mario Molina (regional view Central American efforts to preserve cultural heritage). It is available from Diane Stolfi, Plenum Press - Journals Dept, 233 Spring St, New York, New York, USA 10013. Carnett, Carol L. 1995 A Survey of State Statutes Protecting Archeological Resources. Archeological Assistance Study No. 3. National Park Service Archeological Assistance Division, and the National Trust for Historic Preservation. - Robert Hicks "While this book is not aimed at law enforcers, it's the best state-by-state examination of archeological protection laws and includes criminal ones. Call NPS at 202-343-4101 to find out about availability of copies. Sells for around $5 each." Carr, Gilly 2016 'Illicit antiquities'? The collection of Nazi militaria in the Channel Islands. World Archaeology 48(2): 254-266 - "This article explores the collection of Nazi or German militaria in the Channel Islands and the change in meaning that this practice has held for four generations of islanders from 1945 to the present day. Focusing on the role of children in building this trade in militaria, it examines why they have been the primary agents of collection and asks what meaning or value such objects hold for them. This article proposes the concept of 'inherited nostalgia' to explain the desire of the third and fourth generations for such objects. It also presents German militaria as 'postmemorial objects', and their display as a 'postmemorial project', as a way of understanding their meaning in this particular formerly occupied part of Europe." Cart, Julie 2001 Looting Indian Grave Sites Is Big Business in Utah BLM agents fight continuing battle against robbers San Francisco Chronicle April 8: A9. Online: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2001/04/08/MN167066.DTL brief summary of BLM battles against looters in Utah Carver, M. 1996 On archaeological value. Antiquity 70:45-56. - The abstract: "The allocation of archaeological resources in Europe has gradually shifted from state control to groups made up of developers, planners, community taxpayers and academics that debate the fate of archaeological sites. This trend has encouraged the development of a definition of archaeological value to help archaeologists champion their cause. The definition is aimed at promoting the archaeological resource as a research asset that should be stored as deposits rather than monuments." Cassell, Joan and Sue-Ellen Jacobs (eds.) 1987 Handbook on Ethical Issues in Anthropology. Special Publication 23. Washington: American Anthropological Association. Online: http://www.aaanet.org/committees/ethics/toc.htm - Contains a review essay, annotated bibliography, background on the AAA ethics committee, and a series of case scenarios. Ceram, C.W. (editor) 1966 The World of Archaeology: The Pioneers Tell Their Own Story. Thames and Hudson, London. (republished as Hands on the Past: Pioneer Archaeologists Tell Their Own Story. by Alfred A. Knopf, New York.). - Laura Pope Robbins: "An anthology meant to give as complete a survey as possible of the adventurous spirit of archaeology. Extracts, taken directly from the writings of known archaeologists, were chosen on the basis of what was interesting, however, when combined, the extracts give a view of the whole scope of archaeological discovery. Its purpose is not to be comprehensive, but to provide an overview of the scope of archaeological research, showing both the misdirections and the systematic. Extracts pertinent to the study of antiquities theft are "How to Steal Antiquities" and "Legalized Art Robbery." Champa, Denise 2018 Missing Native American artifact returned to State Museum. The Chronicle Express July 14, 2018. Online at: http://www.chronicle-express.com/news/20180714/missing-native-american-artifact-returned-to-state-museum - An engraved pipe tomahawk, gifted in 1792 by President George Washington to Seneca Chief Cornplanter, is back at the New York State Museum in Albany. The treasure was stolen from the museum nearly 70 years ago. Champe, J.L., D.S. Byers, C. Evans, et al. 1961 Four statements for archaeology. American Antiquity 27:137-139. - Here archaeologists emphasise the importance of publishing their research. Chan, Bryan />2012 Ancient petroglyphs stolen near Bishop. Los Angeles Times November 20, 2012. Online: http://framework.latimes.com/2012/11/20/ancient-petroglyph-stolen-near-bishop/ - "At least four ancient petroglyphs were cut from cliffs at the Volcanic Tableland and dozens of others damaged in 'the worst act of vandalism ever seen' on federal lands in the area." - also see this related story Chaniotis, Angelos 2009 Cultural objects in cultural context: the contribution of academic institutions. In "Return of Cultural Objects: The Athens Conference" MUSEUM International No.241-2 - Chase, Arlen F., Diane Z. Chase, Harriot W. Topsey 1988 Archaeology and the ethics of collecting. Archaeology 41(1):56-60,87. - This is an "essay" discussing the ethics of the collection of looted objects from an archaeological perspective. Cheek, Annetta L. and Bennie C. Keel 1984 Value Conflicts in Osteo-Archaeology. In Ethics and Values in Archaeology, edited by Ernestene L. Green, pp. 194-207. New York: The Free Press. - This chapter discusses the responsibilities of archaeologists to the public. Childs, Craig 2009 The Southwest's Good Ol' Artifact Boys LA Times June 15, 2009. - op-ed "The federal action laid bare a little known culture of ordinary citizens who collect and sell human history." describing the conviction of habitual looters and pot hunters in the US Southwest (including James Redd and Steven Shrader who later both committed suicide in jail). - search this page for "Redd" to find additional stories on this topic Chippindale, Christopher 1995 Commercialization: the role of archaeological laboratories and collectors. In Ethics in American Archaeology: Challenges for the 1990's, edited by M.J. Lynott and A. Wylie, pp. 80-83. Special Report. Society for American Archaeology, Washington, D.C. - The author notes how analysis by archaeologists and laboratories can elevate the commercial value of cultural artifacts. Chippindale, Chris and David Gill 1993 Material and intellectual consequences of esteem for Cycladic figures. American Journal of Archaeology 97:601-59 Christensen, Kelley 2014 $1,000 offered for information on archaeological looting. The Montana Standard. February 19, 2014. Online at http://mtstandard.com/news/offered-for-information-on-archaeological-looting/article_52a284f8-992d-11e3-8276-0019bb2963f4.html - "The Bureau of Land Management is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for looting archaeological sites on public lands near Dillon. The BLM has ramped up its monitoring of such sites on public lands following a looting in August 2013 in Beaverhead County. In that case, a ranger came upon several people in the act of stealing projectile points and stone tools." Christine, Caroline 2018 A raid on an Italian artifact smuggling ring may have unlocked a vast forgery web. Document July 9, 2018. Online at: http://www.documentjournal.com/2018/07/italys-biggest-case-of-smuggling-roman-artifacts-busted-in-police-sting/ - "The recent bust of one of Italy's oldest organized crime rings may have 'convulsive' impacts on the scholarly world of artifacts and forgeries. 40 houses across the Italian regions of Sicily, Calabria, Piedmont, and Apulia, as well as Germany, the U.K., and Spain were raided as a four-year-long police sting to capture a criminal gang responsible for stealing $47m of archeological goods came to a head. The Italian crime ring, which has been described as “very well organized” by the Europol, has been at large for several decades. Code-named Demetra, the operation involved more than 250 officers, who detained 23 suspects as a part of a crackdown of an international group responsible for the illegal excavation and trafficking of cultural goods." Clément, Étienne 1995 A view from UNESCO African Arts 28(4):58. - This is a discussion about the looting of Mali's cultural artifacts. Clements, Forrest E. 1945 Historical Sketch of the Spiro Mound. Contributions of the Museum of the American Indian, Heye Foundation 14:48-68. New York. - looting at Spiro Clements, Forrest E. and Alfred Reed 1939 "Eccentric" Flints of Oklahoma. American Antiquity 5(1):27-30. - early lithic fakes Coffman, Michael S. 2003 How Government Regulations Threaten America NewsWithViews.com July 25, 2003. Online: http://newswithviews.com/Coffman/mike1.htm - This article presents the 'other side' view from many academics, that "Since the 1970s, we are increasingly following another system of governance that is systematically destroying the very principle [property rights] that has made America the greatest nation in the history of the world." Coggins, Clemency C. 1995 Illicit international traffic in ancient art: let there be light! International Journal of Cultural Property 4(1): 61-79. - Coggins, Clemency C. 1972 Displaced Maya sculpture. Estudios de Cultura Maya 8:15-24 Coggins, Clemency C. 1972 Archaeology and the Art Market. Science 175(4019):263-266 Coggins, Clemency 1969 Illicit traffic of pre-Columbian antiquities. Art Journal 29(1):94,96,98,114. - Coggins describes the systematic looting of Mayan sites and details specific sites that have been targetted and objects that have been stolen. Collyns, Dan 2008 Machu Picchu ruin 'found earlier' BBC News June 6,2008. Online: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7439397.stm - "A team of historians says the lost city of the Incas, Machu Picchu, in Peru was discovered more than 40 years earlier than previously thought and ransacked." Letsch, Constanze and Kate Connoly 2013 Turkey wages 'cultural war' in pursuit of its archaeological treasures. The Guardian January 21, 2013. Online: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/jan/21/turkey-cultural-war-archaeological-treasure. - "Ankara accused of blackmailing museums into returning artefacts while allowing excavation sites to be destroyed." Converse, Robert N. 1992 Editorial Central States Archaeological Journal 39(3):111 %& 114 comments on professionalism and collecting, reprinted from Ohio Archaeologist 42(1) Cook, B.F. 1991 The archaeologist and the art market: policies and practice. Antiquity 64:533-537. - The abstract: "The Keeper of Greek and Roman Antiquities at the British Museum sets out his view of where responsible museums and researchers should find a balance in the difficult matter of unprovenanced antiquities thay may be the spoils of recent looting." Craib, Donald Forsyth (ed.) 2000 Topics in Culture Resource Law. Washington: Society for American Archaeology. - 'explores a range of legal issues relating to control, protection, and regulation of cultural resources' [paraphrasing the publisher's blurb] Croci, Giorgio 2009 From Italy to Ethiopia: the dismantling, transportation and re-erection of the Axum Obelisk. In "Return of Cultural Objects: The Athens Conference" MUSEUM International No.241-2 Cummings, C.R. 1985 National professional standards and guidelines for underwater archaeology. In Underwater Archaeology: Proceedings of the 16th Conference on Underwater Archaeology, edited by J.P. Delgado, pp. 46-52. Society for Historical Archaeology, Ann Arbor, MI. - This work lays out standards for underwater archaeology. Cummings, C.R. 1986 A matter of ethics. In Underwater Archaeology: Proceedings of the 14th Conference on Underwater Archaeology, edited by C.R. Cummings, pp. 1-5. Fathom Eight, San Marino, CA. - The author introduces the ethics of underwater archaeology. Cunningham, Richard B. 1999 Archaeology, Relics, and the Law. Carolina Academic Press. - a law textbook Cuno, James 2008 Who Owns Antiquity? Museums and the Battle over Our Ancient Heritage. Princeton: Princeton University Press. - Curwood, Steve />2017 Saving Bears Ears. Living on Earth. NPR air date: week of January 6, 2017. Online: http://www.loe.org/shows/segments.html?programID=17-P13-00001&segmentID=1 - In late 2016, President Obama, with the unprecedented cooperation of wo different tribes of the Ute People and the Zuni Tribe, and Hopi Nation and the Navajo Nation, designated one point three million acres of southeastern Utah in the Bears Ears region as a protected national monument, culminating efforts dating back to the 1930s. This an area of sacred value, including iconic sites such as Newspaper Rock. And as a compromise, it excludes the Abajo Mountains, a popular recreational area and source of water for Monticello, and another area that is a potential future uranium source. - Includes some photos and a complete podcast interview with Jonathan Thompson, contributing editor for High Country News who closely followed this process. Davis, Hester A. 1984 Approaches to Ethical Problems by Archaeological Organizations. In Ethics and Values in Archaeology, edited by Ernestene L. Green, pp. 13-21. New York: The Free Press. - This provides some background information from the perspective of archaeological organizations to the ethics question. Davis, Richard H. 1993 Indian art objects as loot. The Journal of Asian Studies 52(1):22-49 - Scholars seldom appreciate that museum objects looted from (Asian) cultures have a variety of semiological meanings, political (power to those who took them and subservience to their original owners) and religious. De Angelo, G. 1992 Avocational archaeology in New York State. The Bulletin, Journal of the NYSAA 104:28-30. - This article notes the strong role avocationalists have played in New York State's archaeology. De Angelo, G. 1996 Archaeology in the Future: the Role of the Avocational. In A Golden Chronograph for Robert E. Funk edited by C. Lindner and E.V. Curtin, pp. 45-48. Occasional Papers in Northeastern Anthropology No. 15. Arcaheological Services, Bethlehem, CT - This work describes the role avocationalists could play in the future of archaeology. de Grunne, Bernard 1995 An art historical approach to the terracotta figures of the inland Niger delta African Arts 28(4):70-79,112. - de Grunne describes looting of Mali's cultural artifacts. Denton, Bryan />2017 A Jewel in Syria Where .Ruins Have Been Ruined. by ISIS. New York Times April 4, 2016. Online: https://mobile.nytimes.com/2016/04/05/world/middleeast/palmyra-syria-isis.html - "A Times photographer traveled to Palmyra, Syria, to see what remained of its archaeological treasures after almost a year of Islamic State control." (photoessay) Denzler, Frank 2014 Investigation leads to F.B.I. seizure of private collection. Rushville Republican. April 4, 2014. Online at http://www.rushvillerepublican.com/local/x1445024591/Investigation-leads-to-F-B-I-seizure-of-private-collection. Also see earlier story 'Local collection being inventoried', dated April 2, 2014. Online at http://www.rushvillerepublican.com/local/x539824566/Local-collection-being-inventoried. - agents apparently worked with Mr. Miller to inventory his extensive international artifact collection and then repatriate some items Dewar, Elaine 1997 Behind This Door. Toronto Life 31(7): 85-92. - This controversial article looks at how Ontario archaeologists control access to site information and archive artifact collections. Diab, Youssef 1999 Antiquities probe reels in big fish: Ex-director-general joins three others in detention. The Daily Star Online (Lebanon). - Former Director General of Antiquities and three others arrested in context of antiquities thefts. Donnan, C.B. 1991 Archaeology and looting: preserving the record. Science 251:498. - This is a reply to Alexander's 1990 critique of his use of Moche data. Donnan, Christopher B. 1990 Masterworks of art reveal a remarkable pre-Inca world. National Geographic 177(6):17-35. - This is a very controversial publication about Moche artifacts, representing Donnan's work in a frequently looted region, on previously looted as well as unlooted tombs often full of extremely valuable artifacts. Critics feel he is adding context and thus value to the art dealers and collectors plunder. Dorfman, John 1998 " Getting their hands dirty? Archaeologists and the looting trade" Lingua Franca 8(4):28. - Dorfman discusses the opposing views of where archaeologists should stand on the use of looted artifact collections. Dunnell, Robert C. 1984 The Ethics of Archaeological Significance Decisions. In Ethics and Values in Archaeology, edited by Ernestene L. Green, pp.62-74. New York: The Free Press. - Dunnell, a very well know figure in American archaeology, discusses the responsibilities of archaeologists to their profession. Dupree, Nancy Hatch />1998 Museum Under Siege: Full Text. Archaeology - Online Features. April 20, 1998. Online: http://archive.archaeology.org/online/features/afghan/ - Comprehensive coverage of information about Afghan looting, including a list of artifacts among the stolen or imperiled treasures of the National Museum in Kabul, and a map of archaeological sites whose artifacts formed the collections. Dyson, Stephen L. 1997 Archaeology De Damned. Archaeology 50(1):6 - In this editorial, the president of the Archaeological Institute of America notes the relationship between archaeologists and major dam projects which threaten cultural heritage sites.. Fagan, Brian M. 1984 Archaeology and the Wider Audience. In Ethics and Values in Archaeology, edited by Ernestene L. Green, pp. 175-183. New York: The Free Press. - This details responsibilities to the public of archaeologists. Fagan, Brian M. 1992 The Rape of the Nile: Tomb Robbers, Tourists, and Archaeologists in Egypt. Moyer Bell, Wakefield, R.I. - This book provides a history of the "collection" of Egyptian antiquities by Europeans. Fagan, Brian M. 1993 The arrogant archaeologist: ethics and conservation issues. Archaeology 46(6):14-16. - Abstract: "Archaeologists have contributed to the problem of looting by emphasizing research, excavation and publication at the expense of conservation and ethical issues. Archaeologists need to examine their own priorities if they are to provide leadership in changing public attitudes toward looting of archaeological sites. Research is needed into the psychology of collecting and looting to develop strategies for archaeological resource conservation." Fagan, Brian M. 1995 Archaeology's dirty secret. Archaeology 48(4):14-17. - Fagan notes how archaeologists frequently fail to publish their research and equates this failure to looting. Fagan, Brian M. 1995 Enlightened stewardship. Archaeology 48(3):12-13,77. - Fagan describes the problem of protecting archaeological sites on private land in the US and a successful solution by the Archaeological Conservancy (link below). Falgayrettes-Leveau, Christiane and Michel Leveau 1995 Dogon art at the Musée Dapper: The last reunion? African Arts 28(4):80-83,112. - This article is about the looting of Mali's cultural artifacts and their display in museums. Farchakh Bajjaly, Joanne and Peter Stone (eds.) 2008 The Destruction of Cultural Heritagein Iraq (Heritage Matters: Contemporary issues in Archaeology). Boydell Press - British Archaeology review: "the definitive account of the desperate, avoidable cultural tragedy of Iraq. " and from the publisher: "This book provides an historical statement as of 1st March 2006 concerning the destruction of the cultural heritage in Iraq. In a series of chapters it outlines the personal stories of a number of individuals who were - and in most cases continue to be - involved. These individuals are involved at all levels, and come from various points along the political spectrum, giving a rounded and balanced perspective so easily lost in single authored reports. It also provides the first views written by Iraqis on the situation of archaeology in Iraq under Saddam and an overview and contextualisation of the issues surrounding the looting, theft and destruction of the archaeological sites, the Iraqi National museum and the libraries in Baghdad since the war was launched in 2003" Fasquelle, Ricardo A. 1984 La depredación del patrimonio cultural en Honduras: El caso de la arqueología. Yaxkin 7(3): 83-96. Felch, Jason and Ralph Frammolino 2011 Chasing Aphrodite: The Hunt for Looted Antiquities at the World's Richest Museum. Houghton Miffline Harcourt. - ". award-winning reporting for the Los Angeles Times, journalists Jason Felch and Ralph Frammolino exposed the dramatic story of the Getty's underhanded art dealings led by their former antiquities curator, Marion True." (also see & hear this NPR story about their work: http://www.npr.org/2011/05/16/136252401/chasing-aphrodite-and-other-dirty-art-world-deals. - The authors report that True is the first curator to be indicted for dealing in stolen antiquities. The morale: it is better to display borrowed treasures on loan from other countries than to own them outright. Feldinger, Lauren Gelfond 2017 Israel can hide archaeological activity in West Bank, court rules. The Art Newspaper 18 January 2017. Online at: http://theartnewspaper.com/news/news/israel-can-hide-archaeological-activity-in-west-bank-court-rules/ - ". a ruling by Israel.s Jerusalem District Court at the end of November. authorises Israeli archaeologists to dig in the West Bank anonymously and to lend artefacts found on site to Israeli institutions without disclosing these loans. the court decided that publicising the names of institutions receiving artefacts on loan and locations of storage facilities could .hurt foreign relations. in future negotiations with Palestinians. [and] that revealing the identities of archaeologists working in the West Bank could hurt their opportunities to publish, receive research grants and work with research institutions abroad because of international boycotts." Fenn, Forrest 2001 The Infamous Woody Blackwell Fakes. Prehistoric American 35(1):40-41. - a defrauded collector complains and boasts Ferguson, T. J. 1984 Archaeological Ethics and Values in a Tribal Cultural Resource Management Program at the Pueblo of Zuni. In Ethics and Values in Archaeology, edited by Ernestene L. Green, pp.224-235. New York: The Free Press. - This piece notes archaeologists' responsibilities to the public. Fernquest, Jon 2014 Gold treasure found buried in farmer's field. Bangkok Post 29 May 2014. Online at http://www.bangkokpost.com/learning/learning-from-news/412487/gold-treasure-found-buried-in-farmer-field - "After farmer finds gold in field while plowing, hundreds rush to field to search for gold. Fine Arts Department finally arrives & offers to buy gold." (Phattalung, Thailand) Ferri, Paolo Giorgio 2009 New types of cooperation between museums and countries of origin in "Return of Cultural Objects: The Athens Conference" MUSEUM International No.241-2 Fifield, Terence E. and Jack Davis 2000 Archaeological resources protection act conviction on the Tongass National Forest, Alaska. SAA Bulletin 18(1):29 - Fiskesjö, Magnus 2010 The Reappearance of Yangshao? Reflections on unmourned artifacts. China Heritage Quarterly No. 23, (September 2010). - review essay on the 2007 Chinese documentary film Cutting through the fog of history: The re-appearance of the Yangshao cultural relics, but also a commentary on the "complex issue of why there is NO mourning in China of the lost artefacts from the very first scientific excavations of the Neolithic in China, which includes some fabulous items ("national" treasures??). " [Fiskesjo] 2010 Tomb raiders and destruction of history. China Daily (Beijing), June 23, 2010, p. 9 (Opinion). Online at http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/cndy/2010-06/23/content_10005909.htm. - ". when asked if ancient tombs. should be opened or not, the first answer has to be that it is a question that only the Chinese can answer. But China's cultural heritage is not just a matter for China. It is also world heritage. 2010 Global repatriations and 'universal museums.' Anthropology News 51.2 (March 2010): 10 & 12. In Focus Commentary of a special Repatriations issue. Available at: http://www.aaanet.org/issues/anthronews/AN-highlights-2010.cfm 2010 The politics of cultural heritage Reclaiming Chinese Society: The New Social Activism, edited by Ching Kwan Lee and Hsing, You-tien. London: Routledge. 2007 The trouble with world culture: Recent museum developments in Sweden. Anthropology Today 23.5 (October 2007): 6.11. 2006 Chinese collections outside China: Problems and hopes. (Revised from an invited inaugural lecture for the International Centre for Chinese Heritage and Archaeology, University College London, March 2005.) Public Archaeology [London] 5.2 (2006), 111.26. 2005 A foreign bird in a golden cage: On Asia collections in Sweden. [En främmande fågel i en förgylld bur: Reflektioner kring svenska Asiensamlingar]. Res Publica 65 (Special issue, "Tracing the Collector"), 2005, 68-80 (in Swedish) 2004 The China Connection: The Cross-Continental Ethics of Johan Gunnar Andersson and the Making of the Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities. In H345kan Karlsson (ed.) Swedish Archaeologists on Ethics. Lindome: Bricoleur Press, 179-96. 2003 New Concepts for Collection Sharing: European-Asian Museum History, Its Discontents, and Possibilities for the Future. In Anna Karlström and Anna Källén (eds.) Fishbones and Glittering Emblems. Southeast Asian Archaeology 2002 (Proceedings of the European Association of Southeast Asian Archaeologists' 9th International Conference, Sigtuna, Sweden, 2002, Session 8: European Museums as Storehouses of Asian Heritage: Issues of Access and Interpretation). Stockholm: Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities, 459-69 2003 Shui wei shijie wenhua fuze -- Yi ge xifang de bowuguan guanzhang de guandian [Who will take responsibility for the world cultural heritage? -- The view of a Western museum director]. Zhongguo wenwu bao (National Cultural Heritage Board, Beijing), Heritage Weekly supplement, Feb. 14, front page. 2003 Shiluo de wenming ["Lost Civilizations, Lost Choices"]. Dushu (Beijing) 2, 72-75. 2002 Stoppa rovdriften [Stop the plunder. - Polemic against the international trade in illicit antiquities]. Dagens Nyheter (Stockholm), July 30, Kultur/B2. 2002 Kinesiska bronser visas i syfte att vinna guld [Chinese Bronzes Shown For Gold]. Review of Museum exhibits at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, USA and Academia Sinica, Taipei. Axess [Stockholm], Oct. 1, 36-37. Fiskesjö, Magnus, Robert Bagley & Robert Murowchick 2005 Stop Plundering China's Past. March 16, 2005. Posted and archived at the website of SAFE, Saving Antiquities for Everyone. Available at: http://www.savingantiquities.org/i-safe-alertchina.htm Finoshara, Maria 2014 Relics for Rifles: Syrian rebels trade antique treasures for weapons. RT (Russia TodayOctober 23, 1014. Online at: http://rt.com/news/198496-syria-rebels-antiquities-trade/. - "Not only is Syria's future at stake as the civil war rages on, but now also its past. The black market flourishing in the conflict now sees relics - some as ancient as 1,200 years - traded by rebels for AK-47s." - includes video: '3000 yr-old artifacts for arms: Syria's history buying bullets and bombs' Online at: http://youtu.be/W-vOBTpwh6U Fitting, James E. 1984 Economics and Archaeology. In Ethics and Values in Archaeology, edited by Ernestene L. Green, pp. 117-122. New York: The Free Press. - Fitting describes archaeologists' responsibilities to the profession. Flaschar, Martin 2000 Bewahren als Problem. Freieburg - Fluehr-Lobban, Carolyn (ed.) 2003 Ethics and the Profession of Anthropology (2nd Ed.) Walnut Creek, California: AltaMira Press - reviewed in Anthropology Review Database http://wings.buffalo.edu/ARD/showme.cgi?keycode=2253 -- variety of chapters on NAGPRA, Kennewick Man case, cyberethics, and more -- useful as a text, extensively revised from 1991 version Fogelman, Gary 1999 Too Good To Be True: The Woody Blackwell Clovis “Cache”. Indian Artifact Magazine 18(3):8-9. - recent lithic fraud Ford, Ben 2008 What is the difference between archaeologists and treasure hunters? The Museum of Underwater Archaeology Lake Ontario Maritime Cultural Landscape Project Journal 23 June 2008 Online: http://www.uri.edu/artsci/his/mua/project_journals/bf/bf_6-13.shtml - "This question has been a hot topic in underwater archaeology during recent years, especially with the blurring of the lines between science and industry and archaeology and marine salvage. However, until this past week I had largely stayed out of the fray, partially out of the naïve assumption that in most cases any right-minded individual could distinguish scholarly archaeological research from goodie-grabbing treasure hunting. I was wrong. " Ford, Richard L. 1984 Ethics and the Museum Archaeologist. In Ethics and Values in Archaeology, edited by Ernestene L. Green, pp.133-142. New York: The Free Press. - Ford describes archaeologists' responsibilities to the profession. Fowler, Don D. 1984 Ethics in Contract Archaeology. In Ethics and Values in Archaeology, edited by Ernestene L. Green, pp. 108-116. New York: The Free Press. - Fowler describes archaeologists' responsibilities to the profession. Frink, D.S. 1997 Managing the Public's Cultural Resources: From Presentation to Participation. Journal of Middle Atlantic Archaeology 13:161-165. - From the author [email protected]>: "(The) paper presents a public educational program for elementary schools using actual archaeological sites located on school land. The results of providing access and use of these resources to the community changes public perceptions toward conservation and protection and away from more destructive persuits of curriosity." Frison, George C. 1984 Avocational Archaeology: Its Past, Present, and Future. In Ethics and Values in Archaeology, edited by Ernestene L. Green, pp. 184-193. New York: The Free Press. - Frison describes archaeologists' responsibilities to the public. Frison, George, and Bruce Bradley 1999 The Fenn Cache Clovis Weapons and Tools. One Horse Land and Cattle Company, Santa Fe. - archaeologists publish a private collection Mackenzie, Simon and Penny Green 2008 Performative Regulation: A Case Study in How Powerful People Avoid Criminal Labels The British Journal of Criminology 48:138-153 (2008) (abstract online) - "explores the role of invested powerful business actors in the criminalization process as applied to the illicit antiquities market. a case study of the precise mechanics of the role played by trade interests in the formation of the Dealing in Cultural Objects (Offences) Act 2003. illustrates that powerful white-collar criminals, as well as sometimes preventing criminal legislation entering the statute books, can also influence the design of criminal legislation that does enter the statute books in order to protect themselves and their own business interests" Mackey, Larry A. 1995 "The Art Gerber prosecution: A case study in interstate trafficking of stolen artifacts". Paper presented at the 60th Society for American Archaeology Annual Meetings, Minneapolis, May 3-7, 1995. - This summarizes the Art Gerber Case, involving destruction of a Hopewell mound in Indiana. MacLeod, Calum 2010 Tomb raiders unearth new marketplace. USA Today June 23, 2010. Online at: http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2010-06-23-tomb-raiders-china_N.htm. - "As China grows more prosperous, more Chinese are taking up antique collecting, and the growing demand is often met by fakes or tomb robbing. the worst in 20 years". Maffly, Brian 2017 A lawsuit involving American Indian artifacts, alleged excessive force and a Utahn.s suicide has hit another wall. The Salt Lake Tribune Feb. 13, 2017. Online at: http://www.sltrib.com/news/4937025-155/utah-familys-lawsuit-against-blm-agent - "A three-judge panel on Monday upheld the dismissal of a Utah family's lawsuit against a Bureau of Land Management agent blamed for the suicide of Blanding physician James Redd, saying the agent was entitled to "qualified immunity" and his conduct did not violate Fourth Amendment prohibitions against excessive force." - search this page for "Redd" to find additional stories on this topic Magdy, Sam 2019 Egypt Demands Christie's Halt Auction of King Tut Statue Bloomberg.com June 11, 2019 Online at: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-06-11/egypt-demands-christie-s-halt-auction-of-king-tut-statue - "Egypt has tried to halt the auction of a 3,000-year-old stone sculpture of the famed boy pharaoh Tutankhamun at Christie's in London, while the auction house said its sale was legal. Egypt has long sought to bring home antiquities it considers state property. Waziri said that in the past two years thousands of artifacts smuggled or taken out of Egypt illegally have been repatriated." Magness-Gardiner, Bonnie 1998 Considerations on Creating an Archaeological Image Database Archaeology Data Service Online 3. Online: http://ads.ahds.ac.uk/newsletter/ - The author describes a pilot project of a database to distribute illustrations of archaeological artifacts to Customs agents to fight the illegal antiquities trade. Majd, Mohammad Gholi 2003 The Great American Plunder of Persia's Antiquities, 1925-1941. Lanham, MD: University Press of America - "Using recently declassified State Department records, Mohammad Gholi Majd describes the manner in which the U.S. government had guided and assisted American museums in acquiring vast quantities of Persian antiquities and archaeological finds. " (blurb) - politically charged account with basic assumption that no antiquities should have left Iran for any reason Maller, Ben 2011 Texas Drought Turns Weekend Warriors Into Looters of Artifacts, Fossils. The Post Game Friday, September 30, 2011 Online at http://www.thepostgame.com/blog/dish/201109/texas-drough-exposes-history-dinosaur-age. - ". with Texas locked in a record setting drought, the sinking water levels have turned the lake into something Indiana Jones would love. Texans have recently uncovered 8,000-year-old secrets, reports WFAA Dallas. Both fossils and Native American tools have turned up at Lake Whitney" and this abundance has attracted looters. The article notes there have been 30 arrests, and $30,000 spent on repairs. Mallouf, Robert J. 1996 An Unraveling Rope: The Looting of America's Past. American Indian Quarterly 20(2):197-208. - From the author: "This article discusses the history of archaeological site looting and explores the mechanisms through which individuals having a rudimentary interest in history sometimes evolve a looting mentality. The sometimes strained relationship between Native Americans and archaeologists caused by repatriation issues has tended to draw attention away from, and possibly exacerbate, problems of looting." Maniscalco, Fabio 2005 Protection, conservation and exploitation of Palestinian cultural property. In Mediterraneum. Protection of cultural and environmental patrimony, vol. 5. Edited by F. Maniscalco. Naples: University L’Orientale of Naples - problems in protection of cultural patrimony of Palestine 2004 Protection, conservation and exploitation of underwater cultural patrimony. In Mediterraneum. Protection of cultural and environmental patrimony, vol. 4. Edited by F. Maniscalco. Naples: University L’Orientale of Naples - problems in protection of underwater cultural property 2002 La tutela dei beni culturali in Italia. In Mediterraneum. Protection of cultural and environmental patrimony, vol. 1. Edited by Fabio Maniscalco. Naples: University L’Orientale of Naples - problems in protection of cultural property and theft of art in Italy 2002 Protection of cultural patrimony in war areas. In Mediterraneum. Protection of cultural and environmental patrimony, vol. 2. Edited by F. Maniscalco. Naples: University L’Orientale of Naples - problems in protection of cultural property and theft of art in war areas 2000 Furti d’autore. Naples: Massa - theft of art in Naples-Italy since the end of the WWII), realized in cooperation with the Italian Cmomando Carabinieri Maniscalco, Fabio (ed.) 2007 Mediterraneum. World Heritage and War, vol. 3. Naples: University L222Orientale of Naples - problems and issues regarding the safeguarding and conservation of cultural heritage in warzones http://www.massaeditore.com/worldheritage.htm (English and Italian) Maqbool, Aleem 2013 Egypt revolution brings golden age for tomb raiders. BBC News Africa edition 27 March 2013. Online at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-21960373. - "Egypt's revolution has not only brought political upheaval, but also lucrative opportunities for illegal diggers hunting for antique treasures and gold." While police downplay the problem, looters are hitting many sites, including Luxor and around the Great Pyramids of Giza. "A decline in law and order has been very apparent across the country, with the security forces having lost both the fear and the respect that they had elicited before the events of 2011." - includes video of Kent Weeks, Professor of Egyptology at the American University in Cairo Margit, Maya 2018 The Global Fight Against Black Market Antiquities Intensifies. The Medialine July 1, 2018. Online: http://www.themedialine.org/news/the-global-fight-against-black-market-antiquities-intensifies/ - "While the global illegal antiquities trade might be booming, governments in several countries are increasing their efforts to combat it by refusing to borrow artifacts of dubious origin, archaeological experts told The Media Line. The growing push for verified provenance is part of a wider trend towards “clean exhibitions” at cultural institutions, which are trying to avoid getting embroiled in legal battles and supporting looters." Mariam, Haile 2009 The cultural benefits of the return of the Axum Obelisk in "Return of Cultural Objects: The Athens Conference" MUSEUM International No.241-2 2009 The cultural benefits of the return of the Axum Obelisk in "Return of Cultural Objects: The Athens Conference" MUSEUM International No.241-2 Martin, Rachel 2013 The River Thames, A Not-So-Secret Treasure Trove. Wisconsin Public Radio News April 7, 2013. Online at http://news.wpr. org/post/river-thames-not-so-secret-treasure-trove. - includes a PODCAST. ". London tradition of so-called mudlarks who populate the riverbed when the tide is out. Mudlarks have unearthed all sorts of things in the Thames . from Bronze Age ceremonial objects and 15th-century swords to tiny Roman statuettes and munitions from World War II. But not everyone is thrilled with the work of the mudlarks. They're allowed to dig roughly 4 feet into the banks of the Thames . and that's angered archaeologists like Paul Barford. He says all that digging has destroyed the centuries-old layers of earth in which artifacts are buried and which helps give them a historical context." Mashberg, Tom 2014 Sale of Egyptian Statue By English Museum Draws Criticism. NY Times (ArtsBeat blog) July 11, 2014. Online at http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/07/11/sale-of-egyptian-statue-by-english-museum-draws-criticism/ - "A British museum's [Northampton Museum and Art Gallery] decision to sell a 4,400-year old-Egyptian statue for a surprising $27 million. has ignited an uproar in England over the propriety of the sale. a world record at auction for a work of ancient Egyptian art. The statue had been donated to the town in 1880 by the 2d Marquis of Northampton who had purchased it during a trip to Egypt in 1850, long before Egyptian laws, international treaties or British codes and regulations constrained such acquisitions. While acknowledging the sale was legal, the Egyptian government, British museum officials and some residents of Northampton tried to block it on moral grounds." - ". two British museum organizations said they will consider revoking the Northampton institution.s accreditation, putting at risk its ability to seek public funding" (U.K. Museum Draws Fire for $27-Million Sale of Artifact Philanthropoy Today July 14, 2014 Masse, W. Bruce and Linda M. Gregonis 1996 The art, science, and ethics of avocational archaeology: Alice Hubbard Carpenter: The Legacy and Context of a Southwestern Avocational Archaeologist. Journal of the Southwest 38(3):367 - The authors recognize the strong role avocationalists have played in archaeology, and their strength in communicating with the public. Matsuda, David 1994 Looted Artifacts: Seeds of Change in Latin America. Anthropos 89:222-224. - anthropologist studying cultural change in Latin America tags along with Maya huaqueros looting house mounds notes use of agricultural metaphors like "seed", that artifacts are "a gift from the ancestors", and indigenes "practice looting as an adapative survival strategy" Mayer, Karl Herbert 1978 Maya Monuments: Sculptures of Unknown Provenance in Europe. Maya Monuments: Sculptures of Unknown Provenance 1, Acoma Books, Ramona. Mayer, Karl Herbert 1980 Maya Monuments: Sculptures of Unknown Provenance in the United States. Maya Monuments: Sculptures of Unknown Provenance 2, Acoma Books, Ramona. Mayer, Karl Herbert 1984 Maya Monuments: Sculptures of Unknown Provenance in Middle America. Maya Monuments: Sculptures of Unknown Provenance 3, Acoma Books, Ramona. Mayer, Karl Herbert 1987 Maya Monuments: Sculptures of Unknown Provenance, Supplement 1. Maya Monuments: Sculptures of Unknown Provenance 4, Verlag Von Fleming, Berlin. Mayer, Karl Herbert 1989 Maya Monuments: Sculptures of Unknown Provenance, Supplement 2. Maya Monuments: Sculptures of Unknown Provenance 5, Verlag Von Fleming, Berlin. Mayer, Karl Herbert 1991 Maya Monuments: Sculptures of Unknown Provenance, Supplement 3. Maya Monuments: Sculptures of Unknown Provenance 6, Verlag Von Fleming, Berlin. Mayer, Karl Herbert 1993 Naranjo Stela 12 in Geneva. Mexicon 15(1): 6 Mayer, Karl Herbert 1994 Aguateca Stela 1 mutilated. Mexicon 16(2): 25 Mayer, Karl Herbert 1994 La Amelia Stela 1 fragments reunited. Mexicon 16(6): 112 Mayer, Karl Herbert 1995 Maya Monuments: Sculptures of Unknown Provenance, Supplement 4. Maya Monuments: Sculptures of Unknown Provenance 7, Academic Publishers. Mayer, Robert G. 1997 letter to the editor of Toronto Life rebuttal to "Behind this Door" Article by Elaine Dewar May 1997 Issue of Toronto Life McAllister, Martin E. 1991 "Looting and vandalism of archaeological resources on federal and Indian lands in the United States" in Protecting the Past edited by George S. Smith and John E. Ehrenhard. Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press. McAltister, Martin E., J. Scott Wood, and Dorothy M. Goddard 1984 "Cultural Resource Law Enforcement in the United States responsibilities to the profession". In Ethics and Values in Archaeology, edited by Ernestene L. Green, pp. 156-170. New York: The Free Press. - responsibilities to the public McDougall, Liam 2003 US accused of plans to loot Iraqi antiques. Sunday Herald - 06 April 2003 "Fears that Iraq's heritage will face widespread looting at the end of the Gulf war have been heightened after a group of wealthy art dealers secured a high-level meeting with the US administration." McGimsey, Charles R., III 1984 The Value of Archaeology. In Ethics and Values in Archaeology, edited by Ernestene L. Green, pp. 171-174. New York: The Free Press. - responsibilities to the public McGimsey, Charles R., III 1995 Standards, ethics, and archaeology: a brief history. In Ethics in American Archaeology: Challenges for the 1990's, edited by M.J. Lynott and A. Wylie, pp. 11-13. Special Report. Society for American Archaeology, Washington, D.C. - mentions desire for ethical guidelines which led to founding of SOPA McGimsey, Charles R., III, H.A. Davis, and C. Chapman 1995 SAA, SHA, SOPA, AIA discuss Register of Professional Archaeologists. SHA Newsletter 28(3):10-15. - mentions development of ROPA - see link below. McIntosh, Roderick J., Tereba Togola, and Susan Keech McIntosh 1995 The Good Collector and the premise of mutual respect among nations. African Arts 28(4):60-69,110-111. - about looting of Mali's cultural artifacts McManamon, F.P. 1996 The Antiquities Act: Setting basic preservation policies. CRM Magazine 19(5):19-23. - on federal preservation policies 1991 The many publics for archaeology. American Antiquity 56:121-130. - McNaughton, Patrick R. 1995 Malian antiquities and contemporary desire. African Arts 28(4):22-71. - guest editorial Meier, Barry and Martin Gottlieb 2004 An Illicit Journey Out of Egypt, Only a Few Questions Asked. New York Times Feb 23 International - Ongoing looting in Egypt despite government regulations. In this case, the Pasenenkhons stela reaches the US only to be seized and its story reveals much about the looting industry. Online: http://www.nytimes.com/2004/02/23/international/23ANTI.html?hp Meighan, Clement W. 1984 Archaeology: Science or Sacrilege? In Ethics and Values in Archaeology, edited by Ernestene L. Green, pp. 208-223. New York: The Free Press. - responsibilities to the public Merewether, Charles 2003 Looting and Empire Grand Street 72: 82-94 - Meskell, Lynn particularly 2015 Gridlock: UNESCO, global conflict and failed ambition. World Archaeology 47(2) April 2015: 225-38 (DOI:10.1080/00438243.2015.1017598) - Abstract: "Deliberations over World Heritage designation increasingly provide a platform for new political alliances, international tensions and challenges to global cooperation. How has this situation arisen in UNESCO, an organization dedicated to fostering peace, tolerance and international co-operation? Since we now face an ever more interconnected world and our problems are more global they require solutions that traverse nation-states and require them to work effectively together. Yet any decision to act or protect, especially during conflict, inevitably leads to multi-polarity, fragmentation and impasse. Drawing on Hale and Held.s theory of gridlock that underscores the failures of multilateralism across the UN generally, I suggest that World Heritage provides a salient example. Since UNESCO relies on the consent and participation of sovereign nations, their decisions often mirror the very lowest level of ambition to prevail. Case studies are drawn from recent conflict over World Heritage sites in Mali, Syria and Crimea." Messenger, Phyllis Mauch (editor) 1989 The Ethics of Collecting Cultural Property: Whose Culture? Whose Property? Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press. - "The purpose of this volume is to present a range of perspectives on issues relating to the ownership and preservation of the artifacts of past cultures." (p. xix) includes perspectives of the "victims" (Case Studies), options in the cultural steward question, perceptions and conditions on cultural property regulations, and a round table on working out the differences (core of the volume was from a 1986 conference on ethics of collecting held in Minneapolis, others are from 1987 SAA Conference in Toronto, and several invited contributions) - all articles are listed herein Messenger, Phyllis Mauch 1989 Highlights of a Round Table Discussion and Some Recent Developments in the Cultural Heritage Arena. In The Ethics of Collecting Cultural Property: Whose Culture? Whose Property? edited by Phyllis Mauch Messenger, pp.217-242. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press. - round table on working out differences Meyer, Karl Ernest 1977 The Plundered Past: the Story of the Illegal International Traffic in Works of Art. Atheneum Press, New York. - about the illegal trade in art and archaeological objects from 1900 to 1975, and mentions Elgin marbles (and Byron), Boston Museum's Raphael, Mayan and Etruscan tomb raiders, and collectors such as Leon Pomerance, Norton Simon, and Thomas Hoving from Laura Pope Robbins: "This book is considered the best work on the topic of antiquities theft and trade for the general reader. It attempts to provide comprehensive documentation of the destruction and theft of the artifacts of the past. Within it are several extensive appendixes which include the United States Antiquity Legislation, a list of major art thefts from 1911-1972, and many other pieces of pertinent information. An extensive 24-page bibliography is also included." Middlemas, Keith 1975 The Double Market: Art Theft and Art Thieves. Saxon House, Fanborough, UK. - from Laura Pope Robbins: "This source is based upon information received from thieves, receivers, antique dealers, security agents, auction houses, private collectors, and journalists, as well as national police forces. It is indexed and makes use of cross-referencing. There is no bibliography, however, it contains some bibliographical material on a chapter-by-chapter basis." Miglierini, Julian 2011 Mexico's struggle to stem looting of historic sites. BBC News 25 February 2011 Online at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-12404699. - ". authorities are looking at various ways of clamping down on this trade in relics of their nation's history. In some cases, inhabitants of Mexico's poor rural communities come across pieces and decide to sell them to earn extra income. The middlemen who buy the artefacts then offer the goods to private collectors or art traders. But the business is getting increasingly sophisticated, with criminals taking advantage of the lack of supervision of thousands of sites." (the criminals include professional looters) Mihesuah, Devon A. (ed.) 2000 Repatriation Reader: Who Owns Indian Remains. University of Nebraska Press. - (from the publisher): "the repatriation of Native American skeletal remains and funerary objects has become a lightning rod for radically opposing views about cultural patrimony and the relationship between Native communities and archaeologists. . Native Americans and non-Native Americans within and beyond the academic community offer their views on repatriation and the ethical, political, legal, cultural, scholarly, and economic dimensions of this hotly debated issue" (case studies include Kennewick Man and Zuni Ahayu:da) Miller, G.L. 1992 The second destruction of the Geldermalsen. Historical Archaeology 26(4):124-131. Miller, Mark 2015 Decaying and Looted Pompeii Gets a Big Infusion of Care from the Italian Government. Ancient Origins. August 14, 2015. Online at . - "Pompeii. has been placed under the protection of the Italian government from degradation by the elements and looters, including possibly the organized-crime group the Camorra. There are numerous restoration and construction projects underway. The restorations of the ancient city are being carried out with a 130 million euro ($143 million) budget. " Includes pictures and video. Mis, Alvaro Gálvez 1995 Sigue el saqueo en ciudades mayas de Petén. Prensa Libra, 22 de Julio de 1995, p. 8, Ciudad de Guatemala. Montagne, Renee 2011 'Chasing Aphrodite' And Other Dirty Art World Deals. NPR Morning Edition. Online: http://www.npr.org/2011/05/16/136252401/chasing-aphrodite-and-other-dirty-art-world-deals. - ". In award-winning reporting for the Los Angeles Times, journalists Jason Felch and Ralph Frammolino exposed the dramatic story of the Getty's underhanded art dealings led by their former antiquities curator, Marion True." - The authors report that True is the first curator to be indicted for dealing in stolen antiquities. The morale: it is better to di splay borrowed treasures on loan from other countries than to own them outright. - See Felch and Farmmolinoi Chasing Aphrodite: The Hunt for Looted Antiquities at the World's Richest Museum. Morrison, Karl F. 1992 Ethics and Traffic in Stolen Goods: The Wronged Images of Lysi. Modern Greek Studies Yearbook 8:414-421 - review article Moynihan, Colin 2019 Met Museum to Return Prize Artifact Because It Was Stolen. NY Times Feb. 15, 2019 Online at: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/15/arts/design/met-museum-stolen-coffin.html - "The Metropolitan Museum of Art built a substantial exhibition last year around a new acquisition, a golden-sheathed coffin from the 1st century B.C. that was inscribed for Nedjemankh, a high-ranking priest of the ram-headed god Heryshef of Herakleopolis. But the exhibit, “Nedjemankh and His Gilded Coffin,” shuttered earlier this week because the Met agreed to return the highly ornamented artifact to Egypt after investigators determined it had been recently plundered from that country. Museum officials said that they bought the object from an art dealer in Paris in 2017 and were fooled by a phony provenance that made it seem as if the coffin had been legitimately exported decades ago. But prosecutors with the Manhattan district attorney’s office presented the museum with evidence that suggested it had been looted from Egypt in 2011." Muensterberger, Werner 1994 Collecting, An Unruly Passion: Psychological Perspectives. Princeton University Press, Princeton. Muñoz, J. Luján 1985 Acerca de la recuperación de varias esculturas mayas que salieron ilegalmente de Guatemala. Mesoamérica. 10(10): 459-470 Muñoz, J. Luján 1969 Algunos problemas sobre la protección de los bienes culturales de Guatemala. Antropología e Historia de Guatemala. 21(1-2): 3-21 Munjeri, Dawson 2009 The reunification of a national symbol in "Return of Cultural Objects: The Athens Conference" MUSEUM International No.241-2 - the Great Zimbabwe Bird Munson, Cheryl Ann, Marjorie M. Jones, and Robert E. Fry 1995 GE Mound: An ARPA Case Study. American Antiquity 60(1):131-159. Murphy, Larry E., Mary C. Beaudry, Richard E.W. Adams, and James A. Brown 1995 Commercialization: beyond the law or above it? Ethics and the selling of the archaeological record. In Ethics in American Archaeology: Challenges for the 1990's, edited by M.J. Lynott and A. Wylie, pp. 38-41. Special Report. Society for American Archaeology, Washington, D.C. - Muscarella, Oscar White 2009 The Fifth Column in the Archaeological Realm: The Great Divide. In Festschrift for Altan Cilingiroglu (Studies in Honour of Altan Cilingiroglu. A life dedicated to Urartu on the shores of the upper sea), edited by Haluk Saglamtimur et al. Istanbul. Pp. 395-406 - 2007 Archaeology and the Plunder Culture. International Journal of the Classical Tradition: 41(1/2): 221-234 - 2000 The Lie Became Great: The Forgery of Ancient Near Eastern Cultures. Groningen: Styx Publications. - "An important expose of the scholarly and museum "forgery culture," which tacitly condones the looting of ancient sites and the fabrication of contexts for the objects acquired." 1991 Review and critique of Phyllis Mauch Messenger's "The Ethics of Collecting Cultural Property: Whose Culture? Whose Property?" American Journal of Archaeology 95: 342-344 - 1984 "Amateur Archaeologists" Letter to Editor Archaeology 37: 22-23 - 1981 Report and critique of IFAR Symposium on the International Protection of Cultural Property Journal of Field Archaeology 8: 86-88 - 1977-79 Three Congressional Record Publications of OWM's testimony regarding HR 3403: Serial 95-28 (1977): 86-88 Serial 96-52 Serial 96-52 (1979): 78-80 - 1977-78 Publications about OWM testifying before The United States Senate on May 12, May 24, 1977, and January 26, 1978 (for attendance see: Archaeology 30, 1977: 279 Journal of Field Archaeology 5, 1978: 98-100 - 1978 "Antiquities Legislation Debate" Archaeology 31: 60-61 - "note contra André Emerich" 1977 'Ziwiye' and Ziwiye: the forgery of a provenience. Journal of Field Archaeology 4:196-219. - assemblage of NW Iranian artifacts constructed entirely on un-validated, un-provenienced, looted antiquities! 1976 "Antiquities Legislation Pending in Congress" Archaeology 29(4): 275-276 - "OWM supports plunder restriction legislation, contra antiquities collector Leon Pomerance." 1974 "Colloquium: The Antiquities Market" Paper Two Journal of Field Archaeology 1: 221-222 - 1973 "Antiquities and Collections: A Curator's Viewpoint" Association for Field Archaeology Newsletter 1(2): 2-5 - Myers, Steven Lee and Nicholas Kulish 2016 'Broken System' Allows ISIS to Profit From Looted Antiquities. NY Times Jan. 9, 2016. Online at http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/10/world/europe/iraq-syria-antiquities-islamic-state.html - Highlights the barriers authorities face in curbing rampant looting and illegal antiquities sales by ISIS. - "Laws around the world are weak and inconsistent, and customs enforcement can screen only a portion of what crosses international borders, according to officials and experts in trafficking. Long-established smuggling organizations are practiced in getting the goods to people willing to pay for them, and patient enough to stash ancient artifacts in warehouses until scrutiny dies down. Despite a near-universal outcry over the Islamic State.s actions, few countries have shown interest in imposing new restrictions to curb the booming trade in antiquities, estimated to be worth billions of dollars a year." Oldham, Jennifer 2018 Oops! Federal officials divulge secret info about Native American artifacts. Reveal News July 12, 2018. Online at: https://www.revealnews.org/article/oops-federal-officials-divulge-secret-info-about-native-american-artifacts/ - "The Bureau of Land Management posted a 77-page report online that included unique identifiers for priceless artifacts as it prepared to auction the most archaeologically rich lands ever offered for industrial use. The report exposed ruins spanning 13,000 years of Native American history to vandalism and looting, and experts say the BLM violated federal regulations that prohibit publicly sharing information about antiquities." Orson, Diane 2007 Yale Returns Peruvian Antiquities NPR Morning Edition September 18, 2007. Online: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=14495762 (includes audio file) - "Yale University agrees to return to Peru hundreds of artifacts from the Incan site of Machu Picchu. The objects have been at the center of a debate that has lasted almost a century [since they were excavated by archaeologist Hiram Bingham], and culminated last year when the government of Peru threatened to sue Yale to get the artifacts back." The National Geograhic Society encouraged Yale's Peabody Museum to return the artifacts after notes were discovered that showed Yale considere dthem to be owned by Peru. Osten, Joslyn 2014 Denver Museum to Return Totems to Kenyan Museum. American Anthropological Association Blog January 6, 2014. Online at http://blog.aaanet.org/2014/01/06/denver-museum-to-return-totems-to-kenyan-museum/. - ". the Denver Museum of Nature and Science says it has devised a way to return the 30 vigango it received as donations in 1990 from two Hollywood collectors, the actor Gene Hackman and the film producer Art Linson. " to the National Museums of Kenya Overstreet, Robert M. 1995 The Overstreet Indian Arrowheads Identification and Price Guide, 4th ed. Avon Books, New York. Overstreet, Robert M. and Howard Peake 1991 The Official Overstreet Identification and Price Guide to Indian Arrowheads, 2nd ed. The House of Collectibles/Random House, New York. - typical and popular artifact guides promoting collecting Wagner, Erika 1987 The Future of the Past in Latin America. Journal of Field Archaeology. 14: 107-110 Warick, Jason 2019 Saskatchewan First Nations want road project stopped after rare artifact discovery. CBC News June 5, 2019 Online at: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatoon/saskatchewan-indigenous-artifacts-1.5162189 - an obsidian flak "is at the centre of a controversial road project in central Saskatchewan. Construction of a new gravel road is set to be built west of the town of Biggar on June 10 despite the discovery of these and other artifacts left there up to 10,000 years ago. First Nations were not notified of the discovery, and were not told what became of the excavated artifacts. CBC News traced the obsidian to a Saskatoon archeological firm contracted by the provincial government to do the work." Warren, Karen J. 1989 A Philosophical Perspective on the Ethics and Resolution of Cultural Property Issues. In The Ethics of Collecting Cultural Property: Whose Culture? Whose Property? edited by Phyllis Mauch Messenger, pp.1-26. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press. - case studies of "victim's perspectives" Watkins, Joe 2000 Indigenous archaeology, American Indian values and scientific practice. Walnut Creek, CA: Alta Mira Press - covers collection, preservation, cultural property, repatriation, and anthropological ethics Watkins, Joe, Lynne Goldstein, Karen Vitelli, and Leigh Jenkins 1995 Accountability: respondibilities of archaeologists to other interest groups. In Ethics in American Archaeology: Challenges for the 1990's, edited by M.J. Lynott and A. Wylie, pp. 33-37. Special Report. Society for American Archaeology, Washington, D.C. - White, Patrick 2006 Stolen from US history: its artifacts. Christian Science Monitor 04/26/2006 (online) - ". Indeed, US officials say the brazen looting of ancient native-American artifacts, Civil War mementos, and other valuable relics is reaching epidemic proportions." Whitehurst, Lindsay 2016 Family to appeal dismissal of artifact-looting arrest suit. KSL.com Jan. 14, 2016. Online at: https://www.ksl.com/?sid=38127789 - "The family of a southern Utah doctor who killed himself a day after his 2009 arrest in a multistate artifact-looting investigation plans to appeal the dismissal of their wrongful death lawsuit." (about convicted looter, James Redd) - search this page for "Redd" to find additional stories on this topic Whittaker, John C. 2004 American Flintknappers: Stone Age Art in the Age of Computers. University of Texas Press, Austin. - includes material on collectors, markets, fakes, effects on arch record and looting Whittaker, John C. 1990 Going Once! Going Twice! Iowa Archaeological Society Newsletter 40(3):1-3. - essay on artifact auction, collections, and ethics Whittaker, John C., and Michael Stafford 1999 Replicas, Fakes, and Art: The Twentieth Century Stone Age and its Effects on Archaeology. American Antiquity 64(2):203-214. Reprinted 2000 in The Arkansas Archaeologist 39:19-30 (1998 issue). - markets, collecting, modern knappers Wight, Ed 2015 Looters dig up Holocaust victims' graves at Nazi death camp Sobibor in hunt for gold. DailyMail.com 2 november, 2015 Online at: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3295228/EXCLUSIVE-Jewish-Holocaust-victims-graves-dug-hunt-treasure-Shocking-photos-reveal-looters-disturb-mass-burial-sites-Poland-s-Sobib-r-Nazi-death-camp.html - Archaeologists from the museum at the Sobibór Nazi death camp in south-east Poland found the sites have been disturbed by suspected gold hunters within the last two years. Looters have dug up mass graves belonging to Jewish WWII holocaust victims hunting for gold and other precious metals on the victims. Pictures and video are provided. Wildesen, Leslie E. 1984 The Search for an Ethic in Archaeology: An Historical Perspective. In Ethics and Values in Archaeology, edited by Ernestene L. Green, pp. 3-12. New York: The Free Press. - background to ethics question Wilson, David 1985 "Return and restitution: a museum perspective". in Who owns the past? : papers from the annual symposium of the Australian Academy of the Humanities edited by Isabel McBryde, pp. 99-106. New York: Oxford University Press. - from the article: "The purpose of this short paper is to put the case of the great international museums against claims for the return or 'restitution' of cultural property." Wilson, Thomas 1888 Fraudulent Spear or Arrowheads of Curious Forms. American Naturalist 22:554-555. - early lithic fakes Winter, Joseph C. 1984 The Way to Somewhere: Ethics in American Archaeology. In Ethics and Values in Archaeology, edited by Ernestene L. Green, pp.36-50. New York: The Free Press. - background to ethics question Wiseman, James 1984 Scholarship and provenience in the study of artifacts. Journal of Field Archaeology 11(1):67-77. - scholarship concerns with publication involving museum/private collection artifacts with unknown provenience several cases are examined Woodall, J.N. (editor) 1990 Predicaments, pragmatics, and professionalism: ethical conduct in archeology. Special Publication No. 1. Society of Professional Archeologists, Oklahoma City. - collection of papers about current ethical issues in North American archaeology Wright, Joanne 2018 Returning indigenous remains to their ancestral lands, thanks to ancient DNA. EurekAlert! Dec. 19, 2018. Online at: https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-12/aaft-rir121718.php - "Genomic analyses can reveal the geographic origins of indigenous Aboriginal Australian remains currently held in museums, a new study reports. Critically, this could allow these remains to be returned to their original communities - a result Aboriginal Australians have fought to achieve for decades." - news release of a scientific paper "Ancient nuclear genomes enable repatriation of Indigenous human remains" in 4(12) Science Advances (http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.aau5064). Wylie, Alison 1995 Archaeology and the antiquities market: the use of "looted" data. In Ethics in American Archaeology: Challenges for the 1990's, edited by M.J. Lynott and A. Wylie, pp. 17- 21. Special Report. Society for American Archaeology, Washington, D.C. - ethical questions regarding use of date from looted sites or commercial excavations Wylie, Alison 1996 Ethical Dilemmas in archaeological practice: looting, repatriation, stewardship, and the (trans)formation of disciplinary identity. Perspectives on Sciences 4(2):154-194. - four examples show how entanglement of professional and commercial activities have made clear distinction between scientific and non-scientific archaeology difficult thorough discussion of issues raised about use of data from looted or commercial contexts in research and publication Wylie, Alison 1997 Contextulaizing ethics: comments on ethics in Canadian archaeology by Robert Rosenswig Journal of Canadian Archaeology 21:115-120 - comments on Robert Rosenswig's article in same issue Wright, Alice P. particularly 2015 Private property, public archaeology: resident communities as stakeholders in American archaeology. World Archaeology 47(2) April 2015: 212-24 (DOI:10.1080/00438243.2015.1025911) - Abstract: "[US] sites on private lands have few legal protections, and are thus at risk of damage or destruction. To alleviate these risks, archaeologists must engage thoughtfully with private property owners and develop strategies to promote site stewardship. I discuss the unique challenges of engaging a resident community in archaeological research, and the potential of such engagement for fostering archaeological stewardship. Specifically, I use theories of place attachment derived from environmental psychology to explore how resident communities may be encouraged to empathize with and protect the archaeological records of past people." Wright, William 1995 Bring beauty back to Mali African Arts 28(4):84-89,112. - about looting of Mali's cultural artifacts
Indigenous Peoples Council on Biocolonialism Indigenous Resource Protection Act "The [Act] is offered to assist tribal leaders and attorneys when a Tribe desires to protect itself and its people by taking control of research conducted on its Reservation. It may be copied, adapted, and adopted freely. The appendices can also serve as stand-alone documents in the case of tribes that have not adopted legislation like this Act." United States Federal Bureau of Investigations National Stolen Art File
- only list the major cases United States State Department - Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs
International Cultural Property Protection site
The Problem of Pillage (Senate Report No. 97-564 commenting on the implementing legislation for the Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export, and Transfer of Cultural Property) Recent Reports of Looting, Theft, Prosecution, and Recovery on the World Wide Web List of US Agreements, Emergency Actions, and Federal Register Notices Efforts to Protect Cultural Property Worldwide Current and Expired Import Restrictions Under the Convention on Cultural Property Implementation Act Image Database with "illustrations of materials subject to import restriction"
Antiquities Act of 1906 Convention on Cultural Property Implementation Act (implements 1970 UNESCO Convention) Archaeological Resources Protection Act (ARPA) strengthened the permitting procedures required for conducting archeological fieldwork on federal lands, originally mandated by the Antiquities Act, and also establishes more rigorous fines and penalties for unauthorized excavation on federal land Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) National Abandoned Shipwreck Act National Stolen Property Act
(used to recover stolen property) Archaeological and Historical Preservation Act of 1974 (AHPA)
(or Moss-Bennett Act, or Archaeological Data Preservation Act) fights to preserve archeological resources during development, but it is broader in scope, calling for the "preservation of historical and archeological data (including relics and specimens) which might otherwise be irreparably lost or destroyed as the result of "any federal construction project or federally licensed activity or program." National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, as amended National Historic Sites Act of 1935
"This Act declares it a federal policy to preserve historic and prehistoric areas of national significance and establishes the National Historic Landmarks program. It also empowers the Secretary of the Interior to "secure, collate, and preserve drawings, plans, photographs, and other data of historic and archeologic sites, buildings, and objects." Museum Properties Management Act of 1955
"This Act authorized the Secretary of the Interior through the National Park Service to preserve the objects found in individual national parks and provide public access to those materials through museums. The Act, as amended in 1996, gives the NPS legal authority to "acquire collections through donations and purchase and to loan and and exchange collections." National Pre-Columbian Monumental and Architectural Sculpture and Murals Statute
(restricts US imports lacking certification by country of origin) Reservoir Salvage Act of 1960 HR 915: Cultural Conservation of the Crossroads of Civilization Act
(authorizes the US President to take certain actions to protect archaeological or ethnological materials of Afghanistan -- stalled in Congress) United States National Park Service National Register of Historic Places Relevant [US] Laws, Regulations, Policies, & Ethics National Trust for Historic Preservation State Historic Preservation Legislation Database
Coverage includes all fifty states, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. From the page: "comprehensive listing and narrative summaries for all state legislation or state constitution articles that contain specific references to: historic properties archeological sites or materials collected from archeological sites or culturally significant unmarked human burials and associated burial objects." State of Florida Division of Historic Resources Bureau of Archaeological Research draft of its Submerged Cultural Resource Management Plan (select the box labeled SCR draft plan) two appendices at the end of the plan detail U.S. and international laws, policies, and programs United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) publications documents cultural heritage law (by country) legal instruments International Convention on Ownership of Cultural Property Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export, and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property (1970) also available here. Recommendation for the Protection of Movable Cultural Property (1978) Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict (1954)
Loss/Theft Reporting Sites:
Miscellaneous Sites & Pages:
Codes of Ethics:
Archaeological Ethics Bibliography Smoke Pfeiffer's excellent resource Radio & Television Transcripts
2003 Protecting Ancient History in Iraq. NPR Morning Edition Feb 20 Bob Edwards discusses Archaeological Institute of America's request to the US Department of Defense to plan for the protection of Iraqi heritage during any upcoming war. Mentioned is the fear of looting that may accompany the collapse of civil authority. (http://www.npr.org/display_pages/features/feature_978050.html transcript) 2002 Bob Ballard. NPR Talk of the Nation Dec 2 Neal Conan interviews underwater explorer Bob Ballard, discoverer of the Titanic, ancient Roman wrecks, and PT 109. Includes comments on differences between archaeology and salvage, as well as legalities. (audio file RealAudio 2001 Sicily Art Theft. NPR All Things Considered Mar 29 Sylvia Poggioli reports that under an agreement signed recently by the United States and Italy, American art dealers and collectors must now prove that Italian antiquities they import have not been looted or stolen. Archeologists say stolen Italian artifacts have been supplying the art market for more than two centuries. Italian investigators have tracked down ancient Greek treasures looted from Morgantina, in central Sicily, to Manhattan and they are negotiating for their return. [mentions Italian Art Theft Squad and "tombaroli"] (transcript RealAudio - 7:00). 2000 Portrait of Wally. NPR Morning Edition Aug 31 "David D'Arcy reports on the dispute over ownership of a painting that the Nazis took from a Jewish art dealer in 1938 Vienna. Portrait of Wally, by Egon Schiele has been on loan to the Museum of Modern Art for the last two-and-a-half years. A federal judge ruled that the painting cannot be considered "stolen" because the American military returned it to the Austrian government in 1945. The Justice Department is asking the judge to reverse his ruling. The case has implications for the families of Holocaust victims, who are trying to recover art and other property that was looted by the Nazis." RealAudio recording 2000 War Loot. NPR All Things Considered (April 18, 2000) David D'Arcy reports: "The Cleveland Museum of Art today posted more than 300 works in its collection with dubious origins. The culture minister of Germany was in New York today to talk, in part, about war loot after his country posted thousands of unclaimed objects it still holds on a Website. David D'Arcy reports on what US museums are and are *not* doing to return works to their owners." RealAudio recording 1999 WWII Stolen Property Trial. NPR Morning Edition May 25 David D'Arcy reports that a Russian woman is on trial in New York City federal court for trafficking in stolen property. (transcript RealAudio - 6:44). 1998 Italians Want Stolen Art Returned. NPR Morning Edition June 24 David D'Arcy reports on the efforts by the Italian government to retrieve stolen works of art (transcript RealAudio - 6:53). 1998 Elgin Marbles NPR Morning Edition June 23 Michael Goldfarb reports that Greece is calling for the return of the Elgin marbles -- statues that originally adorned the Parthenon in Athens -- following recent reports that the British Museum damaged the statues sixty years ago while cleaning them. (transcript RealAudio - 3:41) 1998 Who Owns Art? Talk of the Nation, 19 Feb, hour two. National Public Radio (NPR). Ray Suarez: "A half century after World War II the debate over the ownership and movement of art and artifacts, during war and in peacetime, wages on. Government officials are currently struggling to balance the interests of the families of Holocaust victims and the interests of the current owners of a painting or sculpture. Join Ray Suarez and guests for a look at the ongoing battle over the ownership of cultural property." (Real Audio transcript) Online Course Information Courses/programs with a strong focus on heritage policy or law.
ANTHROPOLOGY 156-641: WHO OWNS THE PAST? University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Anthropology Department From the page: "This course examines a number of issues relating to the study, interpretation, presentation and conservation of the past which are becoming more and more important in an increasingly politicized global environment."
Email Discussion & Dissemination Lists Try the archives of the following mailing lists, with search words such as ethics, ethical, professional, collecting, collecters, looting, pothunting, standards, SOPA, and ROPA.
ANTHRO-L: The General Anthropology List Web archives: http://listserv.buffalo.edu/archives/anthro-l.html Subscribe to: [email protected] Post Email to: [email protected] Listowner: Hugh Jarvis [email protected]> ArtGuardian.com email newsletter for sharing announcements about stolen objects ARCH-L: The Archaeology List Web archives: http://listserv.buffalo.edu/archives/arch-l.html Subscribe to: [email protected] Post Email to: [email protected] Listowner: David Carlson <dcarlson @ tamu.edu> Artifact - Material Culture Study and Methods List Post Email to: [email protected] Listowner: Susan Garfinkel [email protected]> ANTHRO-L: The General Anthropology List Web archives: http://listserv.acsu.buffalo.edu/archives/anthro-l.html Subscribe to: [email protected] Posting Email to: [email protected] Listowner: Hugh Jarvis [email protected]> HISTARCH: Historical Archaeology List Subscribe to: [email protected] Send Email to: [email protected] Listowner: Anita Cohen-Williams [email protected]> MUSEUM-L: discussion of general museological issues Subscribe to: [email protected] Send Email to: [email protected] Listowner: John Chadwick [email protected]> Museum Security Mailinglist Listowner: Tom Cremers [email protected]> Subscribe: form Archives: http://www.museum-security.org/archive.html SALVARCH (to promote discussions between Salvagers and Archeologists) Post Email to: [email protected] Listowner: Chris Frazier [email protected]> SUB-ARCH: Marine and Maritime Archaeology List Subscribe to: [email protected] Post Email to: [email protected] Listowner: Anita Cohen-Williams [email protected]> TheftReports eNews List (from AmericanaResources.com)
Free for "anyone who has any interest in theft reports in the antiques & collectibles industry". WHNEWS: World Heritage Newsletter Subscribe to: [email protected] Post Email to: [email protected] Listowner: [email protected]
Symbols & Images Relevant pictures or symbols.
International Heritage Site Blue Shield Symbol the symbol specified in the 1954 Hague Convention on the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict for marking cultural heritage sites
G. Attached Documents: bibliography from Jeanette Greenfield's 1996 The Return of Cultural Treasures, Second Edition. (Cambridge, CUP). bibliography from Karl E. Meyer's 1977 The Plundered Past (New York: Atheneum) "Museums' stance on Nazi loot belies their role in a key case" by Walter V. Robinson, Boston Globe Feb 13, 1998 Robert J. Jeske Who Owns the Artifacts? from the Glyph (San Diego Society, a Chapter of the Archaeological Institute of America) September 1997 Issue
H. Acknowledgements/Contacts: Many thanks to the following people for their contributions (alphabetically):
© 2019 Hugh W. Jarvis except as noted. Your comments, corrections, and contributions are welcome!
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