A Tourist’s role in Archaeological ethics

Our Aymaran pots we bought illegally, unethically, and cluelessly in La Paz

Our Aymaran pots we bought illegally, unethically, and cluelessly in La Paz / Photo by Shadia Garrison

Remember the destruction of the Bamiyan Buddhas in Afghanistan?  This was in spring of 2001, before most people had heard of the Taliban. We remember it well and were horrified watching video of these incredibly amazing and larger-than-life sculptures that had stood for centuries being blown up by tanks and anti-aircraft weapons.  This is an extreme example of the unethical treatment of archaeological artifacts that are important pieces of our collective human history and culture.

There are less severe but still serious activities related to antiquities and artifacts that every mindful tourist should be aware of, namely looting and selling.

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