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Representational image – does not depict artifacts recovered in Operation Demetra. Coins stolen by the Nazis, Jewish Museum of Greece (Athens)

Illegal Artifact Smuggling and Forgery Ring Smashed in Europe-Wide Police Swoop

After a hunt lasting several decades, a team of almost 250 top European criminal investigators and highly-trained police officers have busted a 24-man strong, ring of international illegal artifact...
Hadrian’s Wall.

Illegal Metal Detectorists Cause Irreparable Damage to 1900-Year-Old Hadrian’s Wall

Nighthawks, illegal metal detectorists who search for treasure at night, have hit one of the best-preserved sections of Hadrian’s Wall. Historic England has sent out a call to action to the public...
Some of the artefacts found after disappearing from the National Museum of Iraq. Ceerwan Aziz

Fifteen Years After Looting, Thousands of Artifacts are still Missing from Iraq’s National Museum

Craig Barker / The Conversation On April 10 2003, the first looters broke into the National Museum of Iraq. Staff had vacated two days earlier, ahead of the advance of US forces on Baghdad. The...
Central mound of a khirigsuur complex (burial mound) in the Asgatiin Valley.

Climate Change and Looters Threaten the Archaeology of Mongolia

Julia Kate Clark / The Conversation The history and archaeology of Mongolia, most famously the sites associated with the largest land empire in the history of the world under Ghengis Khan, are of...
The imposing mortuary temple of Ramesses III at Medinet Habu. Design by Anand Balaji.

Butehamun, Opener of the Gates to the Underworld: Dismantling Sacred Places of the Dead

At the very end of the Twentieth Dynasty and through to the beginning of the early Twenty-First Dynasty, one after another, the many royal dead in the Valley of the Kings were divested of their...
Remains of the house of scribe Butehamun at Medinet Habu, design by Anand Balaji.

The Hunt for Herihor: Butehamun and the Death of the Royal Necropolis–Part II

Sometime around Regnal Year 17 or 19 of Pharaoh Ramesses XI matters took a turn for the worse, due in no small measure to civil unrest and a failing economy. The northern and southern parts of the...
2,800-Year-Old Cursed Assyrian Stele Brings Bad Luck for Police Commissioner

2,800-Year-Old Cursed Assyrian Stele Brings Bad Luck for Police Commissioner

Whoever discards this image from the presence of Salmanu puts it into another place, whether he throws it into water or covers it with earth or brings and places it into a taboo house where it is...
Objects in the "Apadana" reliefs at Persepolis: armlets, bowls, and amphorae with griffin handles are given as tribute.

2,400-Year-Old Tomb in Iraq Holds 6 Skeletons and Bronze Goods – But It Was NOT Wealthy

A tomb in northern Iraq held a pile of skeletons of at least six people, including those who lived 2,400 years ago. Apart from the human remains, valuable objects where discovered in the tomb as well...
Unlucky Number for Museum Thief Who Was Caught After Putting 666 Artifacts on ebay

Unlucky Number for Museum Thief Who Was Caught After Putting 666 Artifacts on ebay

In modern popular culture, the number 666 has become one of the most widely recognized symbols for the devil and is thought to bring bad luck. For one French worker at the Orleans Museum of Natural...
Curse of the Buried Pearl: Ancient Magick and the Many Hazards of Treasure Hunting – Part II

Curse of the Buried Pearl: Ancient Magick and the Many Hazards of Treasure Hunting – Part II

No English translation exists of The Buried Pearl , although it is a rather strange fact that in 1901, the French archaeological mission in Cairo made a regular French edition. Strange, because its...
A child carrying an artifact at the cemetery.

Silent Victims of Grave Robbers: Children and Mummies Suffer from Extensive Looting in Egypt

The ancient Egyptian civilization lasted for a few millennia. The people who created the unforgettable culture are now buried in the sands of the desert. The number of cemeteries they left behind is...
A view across the main plaza of Xunantunich to El Castillo

Tomb of a Possible Royal Found at Ancient Maya Site of Xunantunich in Belize

Much of the legacy and wealth of the ancient Maya city of Xunantunich in Belize was dispersed by a British medical officer who excavated (some would say looted) it in the 19 th century, but last week...
The ruins of Tanis.

King Solomon’s Mines Discovered: Ancient Treasures - Part II

Have King Solomon's Mines really been discovered? Yes, indeed. In fact, they have been known about for centuries, and modern archaeological work on them started way back in the early 19th century...
The treasure-hunters. Working with a metal detector.

History wars: archaeologists battle to save our heritage from the nighthawks

Like grave-robbers, they come at the dead of night, wearing camouflage and dark clothes to avoid detection. Armed with increasingly powerful metal detectors, they work their way across the fields,...
Easter Han tomb of Luoyang, Henan Province. Representational image only.

3 Men Suffocate, Die While Looting Ancient Tomb in China

Three men have died and others were incapacitated while grave robbing an ancient tomb in China. The three men died of suffocation in the airless gravesite. Two other men in the tomb called for help,...
Funerary Mask, from Malagana 200BC-200AD on exhibit with the exhibit "The Spirit of Ancient Columbian Gold".

The Malagana Treasure: Gold and Greed, A Lost Civilization Plundered

When a Colombian sugarcane plantation worker and his tractor plunged into a hole which had suddenly opened up in the earth, the spectacular discovery buried under the soil would lead to a large-scale...

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