Fighting illicit traffic to return Palmyra’s looted objects – in development

This project will comprise an investigation into the looting and illicit trade of Palmyra antiquities in the last 40 years, but particularly since the outbreak of civil conflict in 2011. Work will focus on developing and implementing methods for producing reliable documentation of looting and trafficking that might enable better, evidence-based, policy-making, and support more effective practical actions. The project is a first step and will be focused on creating a database of looted Palmyrene objects.

This project will employ 3 archaeologists from Palmyra. They will work to identify and collect relevant photographic and oral testimony about looting and trafficking

The results and recommendations of the project will enable better policy-making aimed at suppressing the illicit trade of antiquities out of Syria, and in so doing reduce the damage caused to archaeological sites and museums . By working with different institutions outside Syria, we hope the threat that looted objects will be recovered will deter the trade still further. Together, these will improve the physical security, financial wellbeing and social cohesion of Syrian citizens, thereby contributing to peacebuilding and sustainable development.