W2 Archaeology in the News Post

Title: Police seize priceless 2,000 year old Aphrodite statue in Istanbul
Source: https://archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.in/2016/07/police-seize-priceless-2000-year-old.html#lMPkPWFFmx2eOA89.97
Date: 13th July 2016

-> In this news article they discuss how the police seized a 2000 year old artifact. In Istanbul two men were captured with 13 artifacts including a 2,000-year-old Aphrodite statue. The anti-smuggling unit reported that the two men were illegally trying to sell these artifacts and demanded 1 million Turkish Liras.

This is very sad as these events still happen. People steal artifacts and then try to sell them illegally to smugglers for some meager amount. They don’t understand the cultural value attached to it. In this case it was a 2000 year old statue of a greek goddess Aphrodite, which is basically priceless. It could have gone unnoticed and archaeologists would not have gotten a chance to analyze it. Now, it being returned to the Istanbul Archaeology Museum, it can be properly examined and studied and then archaeologist can release facts about the artifact.

The sad part is that this is one such case which was caught, but no one actually knows how many other such priceless artifacts are stolen and lost without being examined. We need to create more awareness among people so that these events are diminished in number if not eliminated.

2 thoughts on “W2 Archaeology in the News Post

  1. I totally agree with your point of view about how illegal commercialization of artifacts still happens today and how it’s prejudicial for archaeologists and for the people in general. As we saw in the first week of class, looting was a big problem for archaeologists in the past and it still being a problem today. I believe that archaeologists already have to work really hard to extract information from an archaeological site. When someone takes artifacts from those sites for self-benefit without any archaeological approach, it may make the work of archaeologists even more difficult. Also, I think that this action may lead to misinterpretation in some cases. In the case of the Aphrodite statue, I don’t know whether it was stolen from an archaeological site or if it was already circulating in the black market, but the good part is that it is now in the hands of people who care more about its cultural and historical value than its monetary value. However, as you stated this was only one case from many that still happen today, which is very sad.

  2. This news really educates everyone both in and outside of archaeology field, to remind us the importance of archaeological records in understanding the past. Looters like this could destroy and damage archaeological sites and artifacts, and further ruined what archaeologists could have interpret other working hypothesis. If those 13 artifacts are stolen, archaeologists would never uncover the story behind those Aphrodite statue. That is why it is so challenging for archaeologists to avoid looters, because they can remove many sites from consideration when archaeologists try to put the history together. After I read this news, I was wondering like how archaeologists stay away from looters when excavation still going on in specific sites?

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