Looting Lydia the Destruction of an Archaeological Landscape in Western Turkey

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:
Looting Lydia the Destruction of an Archaeological Landscape in Western Turkey

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This chapter reports a survey of burial tumuli in the Güre-Uşak region of western Turkey, where the Lydian Hoard was discovered, famous—or infamous—because of its acquisition by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in the 1960s and subsequent return to Turkey in 1993. It also makes the important point that although the destruction caused by looting is clear on the ground—in the form of ransacked tombs—it is hard to assess just what has been lost, in terms of both material and historical information. It then investigates the looting of Lydia, and of tumuli in particular, and explores local and international responses to the destruction of an archaeological landscape. The research has shown that tumulus groups like the one that produced the Lydian Hoard, and their associated settlement sites, probably represent extended estates of regional elites of the Lydian and Persian periods.

Keywords: Lydian Hoard; Güre-Uşak region; Metropolitan Museum of Art; looting; archaeological landscape; burial tumuli

Chapter.  5586 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Archaeological Methodology and Techniques

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