The RAND Corporation in the US published an e-book, and said that the illicit antiquities market has become an area of concern for policymakers. It is fuelled by a well-documented rise in looting at archaeological sites and a fear that the proceeds of such looting may be financing terrorism or rogue states. In this report, the authors compile evidence from numerous open sources to outline the major policy-relevant characteristics of that market and to propose the way forward for developing policies intended to disrupt illicit networks. The approach uses multiple methods and data sources, with the understanding that no single piece of evidence can provide a complete picture of the market and that only by cross-referencing and triangulating among various sources can salient market characteristics be illuminated. It finds that the market size is smaller than often reported; the market structure varies widely, but it often appears ad hoc and opportunistic; the West is not the only end market for looted antiquities; and technology used in the looted antiquities trade is mostly unsophisticated.
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