chapter  6
27 Pages

To get a good price, ‘you have to sell in international bidding sites’

Trafficking of metal-detected cultural goods from South Asia
WithSamuel Hardy

This chapter analyses open-source evidence to advance understanding of the trafficking of cultural goods in South Asia. It focuses on Afghanistan; India, including India-administered Jammu and Kashmir; Pakistan, including Pakistan-administered Azad-Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan; and Sri Lanka. The chapter explores the China-administered Aksai-Chin and the Trans-Karakoram Tract in Kashmir. The brand advertises in markets where economic insecurity and rich legends of ancient treasures coincide, such as Iran, Tunisia, China and Greece. The United States, the United Kingdom, Italy and France are some of the markets that consume ‘large numbers’ of cultural objects from Pakistan. Partly due to the geographical span of ancient societies and partly due to the political span of modern crises, cultural property crime in Afghanistan and Pakistan appears to be a highly transnational enterprise. Gandharan culture spans eastern Afghanistan and north-western Pakistan. Antiquities from Afghanistan are fraudulently documented and illicitly transported by elements within the government and the military in Pakistan.