Good Collectors of Archaeological Artifacts from the Holy Land?

Author(s): Morag Kersel

Year: 2017


In an ideal world there would be no looting, selling, or collecting of archaeological artifacts. But, given the centuries old lure of material from the Middle East, it is unrealistic and naïve to think that there will be a cessation of collecting. This desire for Holy Land antiquities has resulted in a bifurcated community of consumption: those willing to purchase undocumented artifacts, and Good Collectors, the discerning individuals and institutions who ask questions about archaeological find spots, export licenses, object biographies, and owner histories. Ideally, Good Collectors will return material to countries of origin if it is discovered to have been stolen or illegally exported. They will only buy suspect material as a last resort when items are under threat, thereby acting as safe havens for the benefit of society. Using research into the acquisition of Holy Land artifacts, this paper will argue that there is such a thing as a Good Collector, and that archaeologists need to collaborate, engage, include, and work with collectors in order to improve our understanding of the trade in legal and illegal antiquities.

Cite this Record

Good Collectors of Archaeological Artifacts from the Holy Land?. Morag Kersel. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431545)


Geographic Keywords
West Asia

Spatial Coverage

min long: 25.225; min lat: 15.115 ; max long: 66.709; max lat: 45.583 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 15302