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Saturday, February 01, 2014

"Looters or Lovers?"

Today I posted an ancient, unfinished paper on, and have been surprised at how much attention it's getting, in the U.S., the U.K., Peru, and elsewhere.  Here's the 2014 preface I stuck on it to explain:


2014 Preface

In 1989-90, I was engaged as a subcontractor to CEHP Inc., a Washington DC-based consulting firm specializing in environmental and historic preservation work, on a project for the Society for American Archaeology (SAA).  The SAA was engaged in an initiative aimed at gaining an improved understanding of “archaeological looting.”  With funding from the National Park Service (NPS), the SAA engaged CEHP to look into the definition of studies that might be funded to advance the purposes of this initiative.  CEHP asked me to summarize studies already performed and develop recommendations.  I produced a draft report, which I submitted to CEHP, and CEHP submitted to the SAA, in January 1991.
The report was apparently not what the SAA, or perhaps NPS, expected, and the project fizzled to a halt.  The manuscript has languished in my attic ever since, in the form of a single hard copy.  I recently engaged Ms. Kelly Merrifield to re-type it; I am grateful for Kelly’s skillful assistance. 

The report is incomplete, notably in that it lacks a bibliography.  Somewhere in my attic, I think I have a box containing the sources used in the report’s construction, but this has not yet come to light.  The report is also, of course, now almost a quarter-century out of date.  Still, though, I think it contains some useful data – notably summaries of some very obscure gray literature – and that some of its observations and never acted-upon recommendations still merit consideration, with allowance for subsequent developments.  So, for whatever interest it may have, I am taking this opportunity to share it.

If you're interested, here's the paper's URL:


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