St. Lawrence Island's Legal Market in Archaeological Goods

Neil Brodie, Morag M. Kersel and Kathryn Walker Tubb

in Archaeology, Cultural Heritage, and the Antiquities Trade

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print August 2006 | ISBN: 9780813029726
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813039145 | DOI:
St. Lawrence Island's Legal Market in Archaeological Goods

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  • Archaeological Methodology and Techniques


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This chapter deals with the Sivuqaq and Savoonga Native corporations. It also discusses how artifacts are legally excavated from St. Lawrence Island and sold and addresses the consequences both for archaeological heritage and for archaeological research. In addition, the chapter shows a recent initiative of the islanders to take control of the distribution and marketing of artifacts out of the hands of outside dealers and intermediaries. In particular, the chapter first explores the composition of antiquities market in archaeological goods, the products it encompasses, and the range of its activities, followed by a look at some of the sociohistorical contexts that have given rise to the commodification of these excavated materials. It then addresses the effects, at least in this case, of the existence of a legal market on the supply and demand of these archaeological commodities and on site destruction. Finally, it returns to the dilemma of subsistence digging and how archaeology might proceed under these circumstances.

Keywords: St. Lawrence Island; legal market; Sivuqaq Native corporation; Savoonga Native corporation; archaeological heritage; antiquities market; archaeological goods

Chapter.  12586 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Archaeological Methodology and Techniques

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