|Archaeology = looting in the name of science|
|Re: To collect or not to collect? That is the question… -- Frederick II||Post Reply||Edit||Forum||Where am I?|
Other non-burial sites are also studied / looted by professionals and amateurs. Since I don't think there will ever be enough time and money given to the professionals to examine and document every single ancient site on the planet, I vote in favor of allowing every country to figure out for themselves how to handle the amateurs. In some sense, the ancient history of a particular area belongs to all the current residents. Why not let a farmer who digs up some relics keep them or profit from them? There is a system for turning in valuable finds by amateurs in countries like England. I wonder whether it works 100% of the time. In the poorer nations, paying people to turn in relics may never happen. It's more likely that they will be confiscated by the government, and then some corrupt official will be the one to profit from a black market sale.
Beads are generally so numerous and often of little historical value when washed out of an ancient gravesite in Mali, for example, or found in a river basin in the Pacific NW. I think there are enough beads found in official archaeological digs that I don't worry about the the ones taken out by amateurs. I feel the sellers of such beads are selling a product from their country that they have worked to produce, just as if they were selling new handicrafts. The beads probably changed hands many times before the modern-day looter got hold of them and passed them along to the latest owner. It seems to be the karma of the beads, how and where they go next. I think I am even more philosophical about this now that some of my own beads have been stolen and are in the hands of new owners somewhere.