American Numismatic Society
American Numismatic Society

Legal and Ethical Issues in Numismatics Supplemental Reading Bibliography

Atwood, R. Stealing History. Tomb Raiders, Smugglers, and the Looting of the Ancient World (New York, 2004). A fascinating chronicle of the looting of the Moche tombs of Peru.

Brodie, N., J. Doole and C. Renfrew (eds) Trade in Illicit Antiquities: The Destruction of the World’s Archeological Heritage (Cambridge, 2001). Twenty essays on the incidence of looting in many countries, from the archeologist’s perspective.

Brodie, N. and K.W. Tubb (eds) Illicit Antiquities. The Theft of Culture and the Extinction of Archeology (London, 2002). A collection of 16 essays dealing with the problem and consequences of looting in various countries, primarily from the archeologists perspective.

Brodie, N., M.M. Kersel, C. Luke, and K.W. Tubb (eds) Archeology, Cultural Heritage, and the Antiquities Trade (Gainesville, 2006). Seventeen essays on looting from around the world, from the archeologist’s perspective.

Carman, J. Against Cultural Property (London, 2005). A philosophical treatment of the issues, recommending that archeological objects be considered as communally-owned intellectual property.

Cuno, J. Who Owns Antiquity? Museums and the Battle Over Our Ancient Heritage (Princeton, 2008). A defense of the acquisition policies of the Encyclopedic Museums, claiming that the repatriation movement is an artifact of politically-motivated nationalistic revisionism, and that archeological partage should be reinstituted.

Cuno, J. (ed) Whose Culture? The Promise of Museums and the Debate over Antiquities (Princeton, 2009). Nine essays, all supporting the right of the Encyclopedic Museum to collect, preserve, and display the heritage of all mankind.

Fitz Gibbon, K. (ed) Who Owns the Past? Cultural Policy, Cultural Property, and the Law (New Brunswick, 2005). A balanced collection of 29 articles dealing with many aspects of the cultural property debate, and representing the perspectives of dealers, collectors, museums, archeologists, and scholars.

Mackenzie, S. and P. Green (eds) Criminology and Archeology. Studies in Looted Antiquities (Portland, Onati International Series in Law and Society, 2009). A collection of eight articles, including Lobay on the effectiveness of the US-Italian MOU, and Bland on the current situation in the UK.

Merryman, J.H. (ed) Imperialism, Art and Restitution (Cambridge, 2006). A collection of nine articles on the restitution of ancient objects, mostly taking the position that restitution is unwarranted.

Messenger, P.M. The Ethics of Collecting Cultural Property: Whose Culture? Whose Property? (Albuquerque, 1989). Sixteen articles dealing with the looting of New World archeological sites.

Renfrew, C. Loot, Legitimacy, and Ownership. The Ethical Crisis in Archeology (London, 2000). Perhaps the definitive statement of the Archeologists’ position on the looting issue by the dean of this school of thought

Robson, E., L. Treadwell and C. Gosden Who Owns Objects? The Ethics and Politics of Collecting Cultural Artefacts (Oxford, 2006). The proceedings of a 2004 Oxford Seminar, presenting a broad range of perspectives from nine representatives of different stakeholders in the debate.

Thomas, S. and P.G. Stone (eds) Metal Detecting and Archeology (Woodbridge, 2009). The publication of the papers from a conference in Newcastle in 2005. The seventeen papers trace the relationship between UK Metal Detectorists and Archeologists since the implementation of the Portable Antiquities Scheme. The clear conclusion is that the two groups are natural allies and, by cooperating, they can accomplish goals impossible independently. The discussion of battlefield archeology is particularly instructive.

Tokeley, J. Rescuing the Past. The Cultural Heritage Crusade (Charlottesville, 2006). An interesting self-justifying polemic by the smuggler of the Egyptian objects for which Schultz was convicted. Tokeley claims that only collectors and connoisseurs (preferably English) can truly appreciate and protect ancient objects.

Watson, P., and C. Todeschini The Medici Conspiracy. The Illicit Journey of Looted Antiquities from Italy’s Tomb Raiders to the World’s Greatest Museums (New York, 2006). A popular account of the arrest and proscecution of Medici, one of the major dealers in looted antiquities.

Waxman, S. Lost. The Battle over the Stolen Treasures of the Ancient World. (New York, 2008). An entertaining popular account of recent repatriation disputes, covering Egypt, the Lydian hoard, the Elgin Marbles, and the Getty.

[[|Zimmerman, L.J., K.D. Vitelli, and J. Hollowell-Zimmer (eds) Ethical Issues in Archeology (Walnut Creek, Society for American Archeology, 2003). Ninteen articles covering many aspects of the topic, including Brodie and Gill on Looting, and Hollowell-Zimmer on “Low-End Looting”.]]