a person wiser than myself that I should be a bit more forthcoming about where I am at and why. He is right. This blog exists mostly to toss my random ideas out there, but if any of them stick on anyone I would like them to get in touch. So here it is folks:
In the past month I have received my PhD in Archaeology at the University of Cambridge and I have moved to the Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research at the University of Glasgow. I am now working with Simon Mackenzie, Neil Brodie, and Suzie Thomas on that well-funded Illicit Antiquities/Criminal Networks project that people have been buzzing about.
I've been awarded a Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship and a Core Fulbright Scholar Award to do this. Geographically, I will be focusing on Latin America with a bit of a weight on Andean South America (although I have been thinking a lot about Panama and Costa Rica and love Belize with all my heart). Everything is in the earliest of stages for me, but my work is set to focus on the trickle down of national and international antiquities protection law to communities who actually come in contact with and, at times, manage, the ancient past.
More broadly, the project will have a website quite soon (Edit: See the Trafficking Culture website) and you will be able to find out more there. Until then I am very eager to get in touch with people who have ideas and opinions about all this. I know that there will, no doubt, be backlash from certain sectors but I sincerely hope that the various interest groups can come together on this one. I'm really interested in hearing from dealers and collectors, even if my work probably won't come very close to you all very often. As valid stakeholders in all this, your ideas and opinions matter. I suppose what I am saying is that I am not in this to pick fights, rather I am here to learn.
Hopefully this will be exciting and great. The people I am working with are truly amazing (and quite a lot of fun) and I can't imagine where I would rather be.