Trading in antiquities on eBay: the changing face of the illicit trade in antiquities
Fay, Emily Victoria
The sale of ancient objects on eBay is presented to buyers as legitimate and ethical. However the antiquities trade is a grey market, where both licit and illicit objects are sold (Bowman, 2008). An unknown percentage of illicit antiquities have entered the market as a consequence of archaeological looting. However, antiquities are fungible by nature, meaning that it is very difficult for buyers to differentiate the licit from the illicit.\ud \ud This thesis is based on the premise that the antiquities trade causes harm through the destruction of archaeological knowledge, and therefore there is a necessity to reduce the size of the market. Using Sutton’s market reduction approach, the study sets out to collect empirical data on the market from eBay. The thesis considers three main research questions: First, is the current regulatory framework for the sale of antiquities adequate? Second, what is the scale and scope of the market on eBay for antiquities? Third, what are the routine features of the operation of this market?