Networks of Plunder

Networks of Plunder

Archaeologists tracing the labyrinth of antiquities trafficking hope to shut it down, or at least slow it up

By Bruce Bower, 09:58 AM March 12, 2009

Every day for months, Morag Kersel walked through the streets of Jerusalem to interview researchers, antiquities dealers, museum officials and others about the trafficking of ancient goods: pottery, sawed-off pieces of statues, decorated blocks sliced off the tops of ancient door frames, and biblical coins, to name a few.

One day in 2003, Kersel, then a graduate student in archaeology, came face-to-face with a thriving Middle Eastern trade in ancient, looted coins that had been right under h...

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