Critics are seething over the book, which won't be out until May 28 but already is in circulation for review and causing a buzz.I have yet to see the book but it seems that it contains an implicit attack on the Archaeological Institute of America's stance on not publishing recently surfaced antiquities. The AIA's policy is:
In keeping with the revised (2004) policy of the Archaeological Institute of America, the AJA will not accept any article that serves as the primary publication of any object or archaeological material in a private or public collection after 30 December 1973 unless its existence is documented before that date or it was legally exported from the country of origin.It will be interesting to see if Cuno touches on the issue of the the inscribed ivory pomegranate ‘thought to be the only relic of King Solomon's Temple’. This example highlights some of the flaws in the Biblical Archaeology Society's 'Statement of Concern' on 'The Publication of Unprovenanced Artifacts'.
I am hoping to read Cuno's commentary on two specific issues:
- Harvard's 1995 purchase of 182 Greek figure-decorated pottery fragments ("Cultural property is a modern political construct").
- The display of a Roman-British bronze, apparently looted from Icklingham, Suffolk, England, at a loan exhibition at Harvard. The Icklingham bronze is interesting as it was owned by Shelby White and Leon Levy.