From the Ground to the Buyer A Market Analysis of the Trade in Illegal 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:
From the Ground to the Buyer A Market Analysis of the Trade in Illegal Antiquities

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This chapter investigates the structure of the global antiquities market and identifies what in functional terms may be characterized as three separate markets through which artifacts may pass on their journey from the ground to the collector. They are, respectively, archaeologically-rich (source), transit, and destination markets. In particular, the chapter sets out a model of the trade in antiquities, highlighting its defining or unique features. It also offers concrete data illustrating the pathway of an artifact. In light of this model, some appropriate countermeasures for combating illegal trade are proposed. A concerted effort to integrate all aspects of the trade in antiquities must be made to efficiently address the issues of how artifacts travel from the ground to the buyer. The mechanisms currently in place to combat the illegal excavation of archaeological sites do not appear to be acting as deterrents. In order for the countermeasures to succeed, all of the various factions should be united.

Keywords: antiquities market; illegal trade; illegal antiquities; artifact; illegal excavation; buyer; market analysis

Chapter.  7362 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Archaeological Methodology and Techniques

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