In the frame of the Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology (CAA) 2019 Conference with the topic ‘Check Object Integrity’, which will take place in Krakow on April 23-27, 2019, we would like to inform you about a session on
‘Chasing heritage thieves: digital methods and approaches to contrasting trafficking and looting of cultural property ‘
Looting and trafficking of cultural heritage, especially archaeological, is now a global scale phenomenon, the origins of which are rooted in history. Since the ’70s, despite the 1970 UNESCO convention, plundering and illicit trade of cultural property has become an increasing trend with major consequences to internal security, economies and even loss of cultural identity, which exists without distinction at all latitudes, in the most advanced economies of the planet as well as in less wealthy countries. More recently, the phenomenon has been further exacerbated by conflict and turmoil in areas where political stability is compromised. Studies draw a firm connection between increased looting with the political destabilisation of the states.
The last decades have also witnessed several initiatives, promoted by a diverse set of actors engaged in the protection of endangered cultural heritage and halting illicit trade, that rely increasingly on technological and digital advances to combat such illegal activities. This session aims to take stock of ongoing initiatives and bring together emerging digital practices aimed at understanding the complexity of the phenomena of pillage and illicit trade in archaeological objects and evaluate them. We invite participants to discuss approaches and methods that are being adopted (or proposed) to foster remediation and resolution. This includes (but it is not limited to) established practices such as the use of remote sensing to detect looting activities, the role of network analysis to model illicit antiquities trade, the establishment of (local or global) databases of lootable or looted items, together with less explored (but highly promising) methods such as quantitative analysis, predictive modelling, data mining (especially on the dark web where looted properties are often traded), statistical analysis, deep learning, block chain technologies, and even apps and social media.
The session is organised by:
- Riccardo Giovanelli, Centro per gli Studi Criminologici di Viterbo
- Arianna Traviglia, University Ca’ Foscari of Venice
The deadline for submission is at 11:59 PM CET 14th of October, 2018 (Sunday).