Art Crime pp 169-178 | Cite as

Aramaic Incantation Bowls in War and in Peace

  • Neil Brodie


The archaeological sites and museums of Iraq have been subject to intermittent and sometimes serious looting since the end of the 1991 Gulf War. Stolen and illegally exported artifacts have been traded and collected on the international market without any indication of provenance (ownership history) that might help to reveal their illicit pedigrees. The act of looting destroys material evidence of the past and the trade is in the hands of criminals. Nevertheless, many of these artifacts that are now in private hands are being published and studied by university-based scholars. This chapter offers a brief overview of the legal and ethical issues that the collection and study of unprovenanced, but likely looted and criminally traded, objects entails, by reference to the example of Aramaic-inscribed incantation bowls.


Press Release Archaeological Site Academic Freedom Archaeological Context Cultural Object 
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© Neil Brodie 2016

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  • Neil Brodie

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