Monday, November 18, 2013
The Perils of a Registration System
It's an article of faith in elements within the archaeological community that registration systems deter looting of archaeological sites. But do they work in practice? This story from Israel suggests otherwise. Instead, they may in fact only overwhelm everyone with red tape and encourage cheating by the unscrupulous. Isn't it much better to get at the problem with a system akin to the UK's Treasure Act and Portable Antiquities Scheme? Important sites should be protected by law, but it should also be okay to prospect on private property with permission as long as items that are found are properly recorded.