A Model Investigative Protocol for Looting and Anti-Looting Educational Program

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:
A Model Investigative Protocol for Looting and Anti-Looting Educational Program

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  • Archaeological Methodology and Techniques


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This chapter proposes a two-pronged strategy of law enforcement and public engagement that is particularly suited to discouraging or even eliminating archaeological looting in certain countries. It first looks at improving methods of law enforcement. It also presents a model investigative protocol for use by law enforcement officers and archaeologists when confronted by an illegally excavated site—a crime scene. The strategy enrolls public support for the statutory protection of archaeological heritage. In particular, it reports a model universal investigative protocol for looting based on the one required in the United States under the Archaeological Resources Protection Act (ARPA) and reviews the roles for archaeologists and law enforcement officers. The model protocol is intended as a field checklist and as a means for archaeologists and law enforcement officers to understand and complement one another's roles at the looting scene. When citizens, archaeologists, and law enforcement officers share a common understanding of the damage done to archaeological resources through looting and the exacting legal requirements to be observed in reconstructing the crime and prosecuting the offenders, then the common understanding can translate into public policy.

Keywords: law enforcement; model investigative protocol; crime; archaeological heritage; looting; Archaeological Resources Protection Act; United States

Chapter.  5998 words. 

Subjects: Archaeological Methodology and Techniques

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