17 Great Archaeology Blogs on the Antiquities Trade and Looting That YOU Should Read.

Posted on January 18, 2012


Here is a list of 17 great blogs that you can follow on the antiquities trade and looting. They are the first category on my list of great archaeology-related blogs (more categories coming soon). This list is not meant to pigeonhole these blogs into a single category as they sometimes discuss other issues but they are a great resource on the topic of the antiquities trade and related topics. (edit- for a different perspective on the antiquities trade please see here)

If you want to subscribe to all of these blogs here is an RSS feed (google bundle)

Conflict Antiquitieshttp://conflictantiquities.wordpress.com/

“Conflict Antiquities focuses on illicit antiquities trading, organised crime and political violence in Cyprus, Greece and Turkey.  It also covers the use/treatment of cultural property (from appropriation to destruction); the social, economic and political context (for example, censorship); and crime and conflict outside the Eastern Mediterranean.”


“This is the online community of the non-profit organization SAFE/Saving Antiquities for Everyone, where dialogs begin, ideas exchange, and concrete solutions emerge concerning looting and the illicit antiquities trade.”

Cultural Heritage Lawyer Rick St. Hilaire- http://culturalheritagelawyer.blogspot.com/

“Since 2000, Attorney St. Hilaire has devoted special attention to cultural property law and policy, particularly with regard to international and federal antiquities laws and to museum administration and risk management. ”

Cultural Property Repatriation News and Issues-  http://culturalpropertyrepat.blogspot.com/

“A blog about the return to the ‘source country’ of cultural property removed before the implementation of the 1970 UNESCO Convention, treated separately from the issue of ongoing looting and theft.”

Culture in Perilhttp://cultureinperil.blogspot.com/

A weblog devoted to the discussion, interpretation, and analysis of  on going cultural heritage issues.

Elginism–  http://www.elginism.com/

“Elginism (ĕl’gĭnĭz’əm) n. 1801. [f. the name of Thomas Bruce, 7th Earl of Elgin (1766-1841); see —ISM. Cf. Fr. elginisme & Sp. elginismo.]

An act of cultural vandalism. A term coined by the destructive actions of Lord Elgin who illegally transported the Parthenon Marbles from Greece to London between 1801 and 1805. Now also applies to other cultural objects. Usually refers to artefacts taken from poorer nations to richer ones.” sums up what this blog is about

Illicit Cultural Property  http://illicit-cultural-property.blogspot.com/

“… I started writing here in 2006 as I was undertaking my PhD research into cultural heritage law at the University of Aberdeen. Many years later I am still writing regular updates on thefts, antiquities looting, and legal developments in the field.”

It Surfaced Down Under!http://itsurfaceddownunder.blogspot.com/

“An archaeologist’s tracking of the (primarily) Southern Hemisphere illicit antiquities trade.”


“You will find photographs of archaeological looting, primarily from coastal desert sites in Peru. Because of the dry conditions, many things preserve well on the Peruvian coast. Unfortunately, looting and other forms of site destruction have thrashed large areas of the coast. The images here are intended to show, very graphically, what looters do to the sites, and to the remains of ancient peoples who once lived in these places.”

Looting Mattershttp://lootingmatters.blogspot.com/

Discussion of the archaeological ethics surrounding the collecting of antiquities.

Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issueshttp://paul-barford.blogspot.com/

“An archaeologist’s blog commenting on various aspects of the private collecting and trade in archaeological artefacts today and their effect on the archaeological record.”

Property of an Anonymous Swiss Collectorhttp://anonymousswisscollector.blogspot.com/

“Moderately learned commentary on looting, antiquities trafficking, and art crime” by far one of the best names for a blog ever.

The Assemblagehttp://politicalarchaeology.wordpress.com/

“The Assemblage is a place to highlight and discuss the influence of politics and the media on presentations and perceptions of the past.Cultural heritage – whether it is objects in museums, historical buildings, archaeological sites or ancient landscapes – is frequently ‘spun’ – manipulated, distorted or ignored to advance all manner of interests and ideologies. The Assemblage is intended as a sort of ‘Heritagewatch’, flagging cases of inaccuracy, skulduggery, and bastardry (but also cases of brilliance), in the reporting and presentation of archaeological heritage.”

Cultural Property & Archaeology Law http://culturalpropertylaw.wordpress.com/

A legal resource for archaeology and cultural property enthusiasts.

The Punching Baghttp://larryrothfield.blogspot.com/

Thoughts on cultural heritage, cultural economics, and cultural politics

Cultural Property Observer- http://culturalpropertyobserver.blogspot.com/

For the other view- A Web Log Championing the Longstanding Interests of Collectors in the Preservation, Study, Display and Enjoyment of Cultural Artifacts Against an “Archaeology Over All” Perspective

Things You Can’t Take Backhttp://www.thingsyoucanttakeback.com/

“Things You Can’t Take Back is a blog and resource for all the young angry people who love all the world’s old things and past peoples, who value what we learn about our selves and humankind through artifacts and bones, and who are dedicated to saving the culture and bodies of the past from the selfish, destructive hands of a market that values only the aesthetic worth of artifacts. My goal is to inform students, particularly undergraduate college students, on cultural heritage issues (particularly the illicit antiquities trade) and give them the tools they need to do something about it themselves. Even if that tool is simply having the right book for their research. This blog seeks to fill the huge gap in the existing blogosphere and informational sources in order to enable college students to find the information they need to help prevent making our history and archaeology degrees totally irrelevant. “