Illicit antiquities

Archaeological artifacts and antiquities have always been very famous around the world, but sometime the trades have been completely illegal or legal depending on the people. The good side to legal trade is that the scientist can study the archaeological and anthropological context of the artifacts and antiquities. The bad side to illegal trade is that people will independently dig a site and steal the artifacts they find and sell them to the black market. This can be linked to organised crime and millions of dollars worth of merchandise can be counted. One recent seize of illegal archaeological artifacts happened in Italy where more than 500 works, estimated around 2 millions euros were recovered before they were sold on the black market.  Around 584 artifacts were illegally excavated in two southern town of Italy (Benevento and Foggia). Around 21 graverobbers and a local man were charged with the theft.  The artifacts included Greek objects, ceramic bowls, various Etruscans and Corinthian objects, coins, lanterns, and a helmet. The Italian police stated that these predators were real professionals.  As you can see, looters still exist in this day and age and I’m guessing will continue to exist forever. It’s a shame that they steal all these artifacts because without actual scientist properly digging them out and studying them, it’s impossible for us to understand the context of the artifacts and antiquities.  We could learn so much from them if they weren’t being stolen.




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