Simon Mackenzie has conducted two empirical research projects into looted antiquities to date.  The first was a study of the regulatory structure which governs the international market, coupled with a focus on dealers and their role in creating and sustaining demand for illicit artefacts (2001-2004). Output from this study can be found in several journal articles as well as in the book Going, Going, Gone: Regulating the Market in Illicit Antiquities (2005), access at

The second project was a review of the UK’s Dealing in Cultural Objects (Offences) Act 2003, again focussing on the ways dealers in the market responded to this legislation, tracking the legislative process and the initial effects of the introduction of the new criminal law. This project was funded by the ESRC, 2005-2007. Prof Penny Green and I edited a compilation of essays on the interface between criminology and archaeology, published by Hart in 2009. That book is called Criminology and Archaeology: Studies in Looted Antiquities, and it includes a chapter summarising our research into the 2003 Act. Here’s a link to the publisher’s site for that one – click here.

Other publications on this topic include a paper in the procedings of the ISPAC/UNODC conference on organised crime and the antiquities market in Courmayeur (Dec 2008) and a background paper prepared for the UNODC intergovernmental expert meeting on protection against trafficking in cultural property which was held in Vienna in 2009.

Crimes of the Powerful: organised, white collar and state crime

Associated People

Christos Tsirogiannis

Aarhus University

Tess Davis

Dr Donna Yates

University of Maastricht

Dr Neil Brodie

University of Oxford

Prof Simon Mackenzie

Victoria University of Wellington

Related Publications

February 2017

Trafficking Cultural Objects and Human Rights

Excerpt: Since the end of the second world war, international cultural heritage protection law and its domestic legal components have […]

December 2015

Museums, collectors, and value manipulation: tax fraud through donation of antiquities

December 2015

Do we need a Kimberley Process for the Illicit Antiquities Trade?

December 2015

The Internet Market in Antiquities

December 2015

Illicit Cultural Property from Latin America: Looting, Trafficking and Sale

April 2015

‘A Fracture in Time’: a cup attributed to the Euaion painter from the Bothmer Collection

Abstract: In February 2013 Christos Tsirogiannis linked a fragmentary Athenian red-figured cup from the collection formed by Dietrich von Bothmer, […]

April 2013

Editorial – Portable Antiquities: Archaeology, Collecting, Metal Detecting

Metal detecting and archaeology do not always coexist peacefully. Indeed, even in the current climate of participation and inclusion within […]

November 2012

The Social and Political Consequences of Devotion to Biblical Artifacts

November 2012

The Economics of the Looted Archaeological Site of Bab edh-Dhra: a View from Google Earth

November 2012

Uncovering the Antiquities Market