I wanted to link to the Vietnamese blog “Archaeological Highlights” as they have a post up now about a presentation given by the Thai archaeologist Boonyarit Chaisuwan about looting at the site of Phu Khao Thong in peninsular Thailand. [The blog is in Vietnamese, but readable using Google Translate]. Dr. Chaisuwan also proposes some solutions to stop looting which include educating villagers and including them in the excavation process so they take pride in their local history. As he points out, there is a cycle of looting, trading, and collecting:
Along these lines, I’ve been meaning to point out a blog run by my colleague Damien Huffer, who has been following the illegal antiquities trade. He’s been posting news and updates on several cases related to the illegal trade of antiquities, especially those in Southeast Asia.
Update: There is an article about the workshops in Vietnam here.
Thank you for this post and the appreciated plug 🙂 That cycle that Boonyarit illustrated is both accurate and vicious, but breakable with work, in my opinion. I especially support the involvement of local villagers, students and individuals in all new excavations in the region, combined with as much monitoring, reporting and apprehension as possible. For heart-wrenching examples of what’s at stake (in a Peruvian context), your readers can also check out Dr. Nathan Craig’s blog which I was just pointed to today (http://huaqueando.blogspot.com).
The looting is sad….. After the invasion in Iraqi all the museums were raided. The picture you shared is accurate in just about every country. 😦