The Ethics of Context: Exploring Assumptions in Discussions About the Looting of Archaeological Sites

Posted on January 19, 2011

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The Journal of Art Crime, published by the Association of Research into Crimes against Art, was kind enough to publish my Editorial Essay, The Ethics of Context: Exploring Assumptions in Discussions About the Looting of Archaeological Sites, in the Fall/Winter 2010 issue.

The Essay explores underlying assumptions in arguments that increased regulation of the antiquities trade will combat the looting crisis and preserve archaeological context. The Essay distinguishes between ethical and legal arguments regarding illicit excavation of archaeological materials. Finally, the Essay considers whether archaeological context is “ethically worthy” because it helps people discover their past, or whether it is simply information to be commodified.

While the full Journal of Art Crime is available only to subscribers, you can download a .pdf of my Essay from SSRN: The Ethics of Context: Exploring Assumptions in Discussions About the Looting of Archaeological Sites.

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