Friday, February 13, 2009

Why we collect, and the problems it can bring

First let me say right off that I am a collector. I collect Ancient Egyptian pieces because I love the culture. Everything about it fascinates me.

I love to look at my collection. I imagine what it must have been like to live back then, who might have owned the pieces that I own now, and how such seemingly delicate pieces have survived for thousands of years.

Collecting is an enjoyable and educational pastime that has been going on for a very long time. People collect for various reasons. Love of a culture, a particular type of item, or the love of history in general.

But collecting brings with it many problems if not done ethically and responsibly. It uses the same finite resources that archaeologist and others use, but for different reasons. This resource is limited, and once it is gone, it can never be recovered, so we should respect it and help protect it so we can all continue to learn from it.

The way things have been, and continue to be collected, it's clear that this precious historical resource is not being respected and is being deliberately depleted by commercial diggers. Digging and metal detecting with total disregard to the laws are doing more damage every day. Everytime something is ripped from it's context without being properly recorded, any information we could have gotten from it is lost forever.

Irresponsible collecting encourages this behavior by buying items "no questions asked". This is only putting money into the pockets of these law breakers, whether directly or indirectly.

There are plenty of legitimate items out there to be bought, there is no justifiable reason to buy the illicit ones that seem to have flooded the market.

For more information see the links on this blog.

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