“This is my livelihood”: cave story from the Maya Mountains

This story comes from a Belizean hostel shareholder who works and lives in central Belize along the Hummingbird Highway surrounded…

Culture crime news 14–20 July 2014
Stolen Indian Idols

Hot this week: Hard to tell from Belize. A truncated try at a newsletter from the field.

“They will be looking for it!”: Little boy’s story
Xunan view

A story from day 2 in the field. After chatting to some kids about how fast ice melts and the…

“It’s sad because something beautiful was destroyed”: Bus stop story
Donna v Maya

A story from day one of fieldwork in Belize. I heard this one while waiting for a bus on the…

Culture crime news 07–13 July 2014

Hot this week: Iraq…and Iraq again. Don’t believe all the news you read, but do be worried.

Hollywood’s ancient Maya: illegal movie footage as trafficked cultural property?
Pacal of Palenque is not in a spaceship

Illegal filming at Mexican archaeological sites carries stiff penalties, as some filmmakers may soon find out. Some strange stories are…

What we’ve lost: the two stories of the ancient Maya Buenavista vase
Buena Vista Vase Roll Out

In this post I will present two stories about one Maya vase: what we would have thought if the vase…

Lost cities and looted tombs: Studying artifact smuggling in Belize

On last year’s day of archaeology I was 3700 feet above sea level, studying the looting of Andean churches. This…

Culture crime news 30 June–06 July 2014
Motunui Panels

Hot this week: After over 40 years, and after some surprising plot twists, the Motunui panels returned to New Zealand.

Ransoms and Repatriations: Return of the carved Māori Motunui panels
Te Papa Marae

Hidden in 1800s by Māori fleeing war, 5 carved panels were smuggled, sold, (almost) used to pay a kidnapping ransom,…

Maya artefacts and Mexican bandits: trafficking tall tales
The mask on display at Dumbarton Oaks

A most unbelievable story of a looted (or fake) Maya book and mask.

Heading to Belize for preliminary fieldwork and a call for info

I’m heading to Belize to look into antiquities trafficking. Who who should I speak with?

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