Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Smithsonian Magazine Now Under Attack

Archaeo-bloggers Gill and Barford now have Smithsonian Magazine in their sights for publishing pictures of undocumented Mayan artifacts. See
and http://paul-barford.blogspot.com/2011/06/looted-pots-in-smithsonian-magazine.html

This is yet more overkill. The AIA's policy against publication of undocumented artifacts was originally meant to ensure that papers were properly documented from a scientific perspective. But Smithsonian Magazine is meant for a general audience. And, as a subscriber, I'm happy Smithsonian does not limit its illustrations only to artifacts from documented archaeological excavations.

1 comment:

Cultural Property Observer said...

John Hooker tells me that Professor Charles B. Donnan, the world's leading authority on the Moche of Peru, was criticized for his use of private collector's photographs of their ceramics (some of which might have been looted) for his National Geographic feature:


He said, "If I had known what a crucial difference the information [recovered from privately held collections] would make in our ability to accurately reconstruct this ancient society, I would have gone about it with even deeper resolve". (Quoted by the theoretical archaeologist Alison Wylie in her book _Thinking from Things_, Berkeley, 2002 p.235)