4 episodes

On Looted: The Podcast, we uncover the hidden stories of ancient artifacts and their journeys in the illicit antiquities trade. I’m Zoë Kontes, and I’m an archaeologist. When we archaeologists dig, we carefully record what we find so we can make the best sense of the evidence. But go to any museum, auction house, or dealer with an antiquities collection and you’ll be sure to find objects that have been removed from the ground without this kind of proper excavation. Looting destroys the context of artifacts, and while they may look beautiful in a display case, we lose any information about their significance or function in the culture that made them. This is a loss of our common human history, and it affects us all. Check out http://www.lootedpodcast.org for all episodes and more information!

LOOTED Zoë Kontes

    • History
    • 4.9, 20 Ratings

On Looted: The Podcast, we uncover the hidden stories of ancient artifacts and their journeys in the illicit antiquities trade. I’m Zoë Kontes, and I’m an archaeologist. When we archaeologists dig, we carefully record what we find so we can make the best sense of the evidence. But go to any museum, auction house, or dealer with an antiquities collection and you’ll be sure to find objects that have been removed from the ground without this kind of proper excavation. Looting destroys the context of artifacts, and while they may look beautiful in a display case, we lose any information about their significance or function in the culture that made them. This is a loss of our common human history, and it affects us all. Check out http://www.lootedpodcast.org for all episodes and more information!

    Episode 4: Village Pillage (“Field Notes”)

    Episode 4: Village Pillage (“Field Notes”)

    Archaeologist Dr. Spencer Pope shares his thoughts on looting in Sicily, particularly at the site of Palikè, a 2400 year old town not far from Catania on Sicily’s east coast, in the fertile plains of the island’s active volcano, Mt Etna. The site has a mystical nature, considered sacred since antiquity due to the bubbling lakes near which it is situated. Looters use metal detectors at the site to find ancient coins, and in the process destroy important scientific evidence for understanding the mix of cultures that once interacted here.

    Our guest: http://classics.humanities.mcmaster.ca/spencer-pope/

    More to see, read, and hear:

    Maniscalco, Laura, and Brian E. McConnell. “The Sanctuary of the Divine Palikoi (Rocchicella Di Mineo, Sicily): Fieldwork from 1995 to 2001.” American Journal of Archaeology 107, no. 2 (2003): 145-80. http://www.jstor.org/stable/40026074

    Overview of the site from the Ministry of Culture (in Italian)

    A recent article on illegal excavation in Syria, but with pertinent information on the looting of coins with metal detectors

    Other sites mentioned on this episode:

    Morgantina

    Naxos

    Piazza Armerina

    Agrigento

     

     

     

    • 25 min
    Episode 3: Big Bronzes

    Episode 3: Big Bronzes

    There’s nothing like a full-bodied ancient Greek bronze nude to get the crowds to a museum. A visitor might even fall in love (speaking from personal experience—Riace Bronzes, here’s looking at you). We’ll focus on two of these very rare figures, found in US museums, but currently the subject of great debates of identification and international ownership.

    More to see, read, and hear:

    On the Getty Youth:

    http://articles.latimes.com/print/2006/may/11/local/me-bronze11

    http://lootingmatters.blogspot.com/2010/01/fano-athlete-new-revelations.html

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/16/arts/design/16bronze.html

    http://lootingmatters.blogspot.com/2010/01/fano-athlete-legal-case-in-final-stages.html

    http://articles.latimes.com/print/2010/feb/12/entertainment/la-et-getty-bronze12-2010feb12

    http://www.ansa.it/web/notizie/rubriche/english/2010/04/21/visualizza_new.html_1765197591.html

    http://articles.latimes.com/2012/may/04/entertainment/la-et-getty-bronze-ruling-20120504

    On the Cleveland Apollo:

    The Cleveland Apollo: New Comments

    http://lootingmatters.blogspot.com/2008/01/will-cleveland-museum-of-art-be-next.html

    http://www.cleveland.com/arts/index.ssf/2010/06/cleveland_museum_of_arts_apoll.html

    http://lootingmatters.blogspot.com/2010/06/cleveland-apollo-german-connection.html

    http://lootingmatters.blogspot.com/2010/06/cleveland-apollo-i-dont-know-who-theyre.html

    M. Bennett, Praxiteles: The Cleveland Apollo (Cleveland, 2013)

    • 24 min
    Episode 2: Figure Drawing

    Episode 2: Figure Drawing

    Marble figurines made ca. 5000 years ago in the Cycladic Islands of the Aegean became all the rage for collectors, and a great influence in Modernist Art. Easily looted and almost as easily faked, these objects have a unique role in the modern world. The question is, what was their role in the ancient world?

    More to see, read and hear:

    Gill, D. W. J., and C. Chippindale. “Material and intellectual consequences of esteem for Cycladic figures.” American Journal of Archaeology 97 (1993): 601-59.

    Chippindale, C., and D. W. J. Gill. “Cycladic figurines: art versus archaeology?” In Antiquities: trade or betrayed. Legal, ethical & conservation issues, edited by K. W. Tubb (1993): 131-42.

    Review: A Seductive and Troubling Work. Reviewed Work: The Cycladic Spirit: Masterpieces from the Nicholas P. Goulandris Collection by Colin Renfrew, Christos Doumas. Review by: Ricardo J. Elia, Archaeology. Vol. 46, No. 1 (JANUARY/FEBRUARY 1993), pp. 64, 66-69 http://www.jstor.org/stable/41766251

    Renfrew, C. “Keros: Rethinking the Cycladic Early Bronze Age”, Penn Museum lecture: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=epwk71maFRc

    • 26 min
    Episode 1: Gold Digger

    Episode 1: Gold Digger

    Listen to the story of a gold funerary wreath, looted from Northern Greece in the 1990s, smuggled into Germany, and eventually purchased by an illustrious U.S. museum. With their abundance of gold and other luxury items, the royal tombs of Macedonia in this area have been the target of looters (and archaeologists) for years. The debates about the VIPs who may or may not be interred within (the father of Alexander the Great, for one) continue, and demonstrate the essential importance of archaeological context.

    More to see, read and hear:

    Andronikos:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nka62V7PRs4

    Zirganos:

    ‘Operation Eclipse,’ in P. Watson and C. Todeschini, The Medici Conspiracy (2007), 306-324.

    https://www.amazon.com/Medici-Conspiracy-Illicit-Antiquities-Greatest/dp/1586484389/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1481139930&sr=1-1&keywords=medici+conspiracy

    LA Times:

    http://articles.latimes.com/print/2006/dec/11/local/me-getty11

    PRI:

    http://www.pri.org/stories/2012-03-14/protecting-greece-antiquities-lean-times

     

     

    • 22 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
20 Ratings

20 Ratings

ConklinG ,

Visit museums?

Then you should listen to this podcast!

JasonDunbar ,

First podcast gem

Zoe does a great job flushing out the history and the modern parameters of this tricky subject. Looking forward to the rest of the series.

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