Alarming Artifact Loot from Archaeological Sites Signals Giant Loss of History

Artifact loot from excavation sites is an alarming menace today, signaling a worldwide nexus of million dollar black market behind it. Author Tom Abbott has come up with a novel based on the life of professional artifact hunters.

Baton Rouge, LA – 15th March, 2016 – History owes much to the archaeologists who spend their life excavating sites unearthing artifacts to enlighten the current & future generation about the wonders of the ancient world. But what is it like to dig up awesome artifacts from excavating sites only to have them swooped up by unethical looters for mere money?

The ancient remnants and artifacts seem to be in grave danger today. In 2009, the FBI arrested over 20 people on the charge of sneaking antique artifacts from Indian reservations & public land in Utah’s southwest. The much-awaited arrests succeeded a 2-year-old sting operation titled “Cerberus Action”. FBI has rescued a huge volume of Native American findings (256) including pots, sandals, an axe & woven baskets that summed up to a whooping value of $335,685.

The defendants convicted were charged under the violation of ARPA Act (Archaeological Resources Protection Act) & NAGPRA (the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act). While ARPA prohibits excavation & sale of ancient artifacts from Indian or public land- NAGPRA requires artifacts retrieved from the burial sites to be handed over to the Indian tribes.

Utah’s case is not a singular example here and the illegal practice of looting artifacts is widespread in several places. In 2013, 11 from Florida & 2 from Georgia were charged under an alleged criminal coup of selling out historical artifacts sneaked out from the State-owned lands.

“Looting of artifacts doesn’t just imply loss of some copper plate or some cool stone stuff. The sad part is that the entire unethical practice marks loss of invaluable historical knowledge about cultures existed long back. No one has any right to loot anything and it hurts more when people loot information & knowledge that would be now forever lost,” remarked one of the prominent archaeologists while speaking about the imminent dangers of looted artifacts faced by the excavators in quest of historical data.

The alarming part is that a global nexus of illegal trade serves as the fillip for the growing menace of artifact loot. As per the officers of Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, a black market of whooping $2 million worth exists in the illicit dealing of the historical artifacts.

In the words of FBI Supervisory Special Agent Drew Northern – “The illicit trade of ancient artifacts represents quite a lucrative market & speaks of involvement of huge criminal nexus worldwide.”

When the world, FBI & archaeologists are having steaming debates on artifact loot, author Tom Abbott has come up with his new book “The Shard Hunters: The Shard Hunters – Grave Robber, Looter, Pot Hunter, Thief of Time – Call it what you like”. It deals with the lives of two professional artifact hunters and the novel is based on actual events. The book maps their journey on the quest of grave treasures that sums up as an exciting tale of adventure amidst risks & chances.

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