Thursday, May 7, 2009

Proposal: a database for the "real vetting" of archaeological material

Larry Rothfield has responded to my earlier post about antiquities and e-commerce. Rothfield suggests that there needs to be an alternative to the Art Loss Register. He notes that this new database would provide "a real vetting of archaeological material to leave no doubt about whether provenance passes muster". He continues:
To be credible to the archaeological community, archaeologists appointed by major archaeological associations would be officially in charge of a registering commission. Dealers would have to pay for the costs of the commission's work -- and one could tack on an additional charge (or if the commission were legally sanctioned, a tax) to raise money to help pay for site guards in countries where antiquities are being looted.
It would be good to have some feedback here or on The Punching Bag. What do readers think about Rothfield's proposal?

1 comment:

samarkeolog said...

I'm not techy enough to know whether this is a potentially good idea or whether it has no relation to scientific possibility whatsoever, but could there be an illicit antiquities database-TinEye mash-up to identify and impede online illicit antiquities trading?

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