The Plunder of the Ulúa Valley, Honduras, and a Market Analysis For Its Antiquities

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:
The Plunder of the Ulúa Valley, Honduras, and a Market Analysis For Its Antiquities

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This chapter emphasizes the commodifying effects of display. It specifically reveals that sales of Ulúa-style marble vases from Honduras increased after an exhibition of vases in 1992 at the Houston Museum of Fine Arts. It uses data from the Lower Ulúa Valley of northwestern Honduras to address the global problem of pillage. It examines how systematically collected archaeological data provide an invaluable tool for exploring the result of pillage on the landscape. The findings of archaeological projects geared toward documenting the cultural history of the region are outlined to give readers a framework. Next, the correlation between intense looting, development, and the art market in Honduras is investigated. Building on these data, it examines the international art market for a specific object type, Ulúa marble vases, and the intensity and aim of looting activities for these vases.

Keywords: Ulúa Valley; marble vases; pillage; landscape; looting; art market; market analysis

Chapter.  8677 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Archaeological Methodology and Techniques

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