Antiquities traffickers deal with ancient coins

Monday, January 25, 2010
There is much controversy today about the inclusion of ancient coins under the auspices of laws that protect archaeological objects. Some say the laws should not regulate ancient coins at all. Consider two items in the news, nevertheless, that show how ancient coins are part of the traffickers' loot.

Yahoo! News reported today via the Associate Press that Cypriot authorities rounded up antiquities traffickers in the largest case of its kind in terms of the amount. The traffickers apparently had an undisclosed buyer and planned to move the pieces for %15.5 million (US) dollars--which means the items together were likely worth even more. Among the urns, gold, and other cultural objects were ancient coins.
See news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100125/ap_on_re_eu/eu_cyprus_antiquities_theft

In another unrelated story, ancient coins were discovered when a man was arrested in the United Kingdom. UKPA reported that a "large volume of items of 'considerable antiquity' were seized at a house by officers who executed a search warrant in Barnham, near Chichester, West Sussex. Police said some of the artefacts were suspected of being stolen by "nighthawking" from an undisclosed site in the Chichester area and elsewhere recently. The items found so far include medieval and Roman coins, ivory and silver, and one gold Iron Age coin, brooches, buttons and horse equipment of similar ages."
See www.google.com/hostednews/ukpress/article/ALeqM5hNTZxAlDE31CnLZq_488cVR_XO2w

In the same way that drug traffickers deal with quanities of of a variety of illegal drugs, antiquities traffickers deal with a variety of looted archaeological objects--including coins.