ANCIENT COIN COLLECTORS GUILD

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What can be done to encourage protection of archaeological sites?

July 29, 2020 11:09 PM | Sue McGovern-Huffman (Administrator)


Looting of archaeological sites is the worst in countries that have unfair laws that treat all ancient objects as the sole property of the state. Such laws only discourage otherwise law abiding citizens from reporting their finds and encourage public corruption—often at the highest levels. In such countries, there is little incentive for finders of ancient artifacts to report their finds to the authorities; they will not receive fair compensation, and in fact they may instead receive unwelcome attention from abusive government authorities. Rather than face such ill treatment, impoverished villagers with deep distrust in their own governments will instead sell what they find secretly to middlemen, who often are working under the protection of corrupt government officials. In contrast, in countries with fair laws and transparent government procedures, like Great Britain, finders must report most ancient finds, but can expect to receive fair compensation for whatever important items government associated museums decide to retain. The results are predictable. While official British Government reports herald important discoveries made by common people, corrupt and despotic governments in source countries with harsh laws and their allies in the archaeological establishment complain about the loss of important historical information to looting. To encourage protection of archaeological sites, we must encourage the peoples' respect for a nation's past. This can only occur if people are treated fairly and are educated about the importance of preservation efforts.

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