To publish or not to publish?

Dr. Xavier Delestre, Regional Curator of Archaeology at the Ministry of Culture and participant of the NETCHER project, launches the book “Numismatique: Le pillage et le commerce des oboles de Marseille” on looting and ethics of archaeological issues.

In this book, Dr Xavier Delestre addresses the ethical problem faced by archaeologists when confronted to unprovenanced artefacts (presumably from illegal excavations): shall we publish them and thus tacitly acknowledge a criminal practice? Or shall we ignore them and thus definitively erase these artefacts from history? Delestre suggests a classificatory scheme of archaeological literature, labelling as “grey publications” the ones that include such artefacts.

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[Image: Archaeological artefacts stemming from illegal excavations in the Provence region, France. © Xavier Delestre]