Uncovering the Antiquities Market

Neil Brodie

in The Oxford Handbook of Public Archaeology

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9780199237821
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Archaeology

Uncovering the Antiquities Market

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  • Archaeology
  • Contemporary and Public Archaeology



This article provides an overview of the growing body of published research into the antiquities market undertaken over the last twenty-five years. Particular attention is paid to the research methods used to uncover the market. The antiquities market has existed since the sixteenth century to facilitate the transformation of archaeological, ethnographic, and other cultural artefacts into art, and in so doing has helped fashion the ontological terrain of European modernity. Quantitative methods, such as remote sensing and market research, provide data regarding the size and shape of the market and the nature and scale of the damage it causes, while qualitative ethnographic methods shed light on the broader socio-economic and cultural contexts of the antiquities market and of archaeological practice. The greatest challenge for future research is to investigate the cultural force of the antiquities market.

Keywords: antiquities market; artefacts; art; modernity; archaeological practice; cultural force

Article.  10691 words. 

Subjects: Archaeology ; Contemporary and Public Archaeology

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