“We shouldn’t be curating people’s souls:” Denver museum repatriates sacred carvings to Kenyan tribes (Denver Post)

Denver Post: “We shouldn’t be curating people’s souls:” Denver museum repatriates sacred carvings to Kenyan tribes. “At the Denver museum, the discovery of 30 wooden statues sent curators on a quest to return the items said to hold the souls of ancestors. For the Mijikenda people in Kenya and northern Tanzania, the carvings — long rectangular, intricately designed bodies and round heads — both memorialize prominent members of the society who died and embody their spirits.”

Foreign Affairs: Facebook’s Flawed Plan to End Antiquities Trafficking

Foreign Affairs: Facebook’s Flawed Plan to End Antiquities Trafficking. “As scholars who have spent years tracking the illicit trade in Middle Eastern artifacts and studying its role in financing terrorism, we welcome Facebook’s decision as an indication that it is beginning to acknowledge the scale of this dangerous problem. But we have grave concerns about the company’s planned approach to combating antiquities trafficking. Facebook’s new policy, while more proactive than its previous one, fails to acknowledge that because antiquities trafficking is a war crime under international humanitarian law, the company should therefore preserve as evidence—and not simply destroy—the material it removes from its site.”

Pofatu: A new database for geochemical ‘fingerprints’ of artefacts (ScienceDaily)

ScienceDaily: Pofatu: A new database for geochemical ‘fingerprints’ of artefacts. “Due to the improvement and increased use of geochemical fingerprinting techniques during the last 25 years, the archaeological compositional data of stone tools has grown exponentially. The Pofatu Database is a large-scale collaborative project that enables curation and data sharing. The database also provides instrumental details, analytical procedures and reference standards used for calibration purposes or quality control. Thus, Pofatu ensures reproducibility and comparability between provenance studies.”

University of Northern Colorado: Professor Receives $6,500 Grant to Create Digital Archive for Artifacts

University of Northern Colorado: Professor Receives $6,500 Grant to Create Digital Archive for Artifacts. “In May of 2019, Andy Creekmore, Ph.D., an associate professor of Anthropology at the University of Northern Colorado, received a $6,500 grant from the Colorado Statewide Internet Portal Authority (SIPA) Micro-Grant Program. The grant is being used to make UNC’s collection of more than 3,000 southwestern and plains prehistoric and historic artifacts publicly accessible through an online database that’ll be searchable and Google indexed through Digital UNC.”

Smithsonian: You Can Now Download 1,700 Free 3-D Cultural Heritage Models

Smithsonian: You Can Now Download 1,700 Free 3-D Cultural Heritage Models. “During the first manned lunar landing mission in July 1969, Apollo 11’s crew lived in a command module dubbed the Columbia. Currently a priceless artifact in the National Air and Space Museum’s collections, the module was the only portion of the spacecraft to return to Earth. Now, thanks to a new open access initiative spearheaded by Sketchfab, the web’s largest platform for immersive 3-D content, anyone with an internet connection can ‘re-use, re-imagine and remix’ the vessel—as well as nearly 1,700 other historic artifacts—without limitation.”

FBI: FBI Art Crime Team Announces the Repatriation of Over 450 Cultural and Historical Artifacts to the Republic of Haiti

FBI: FBI Art Crime Team Announces the Repatriation of Over 450 Cultural and Historical Artifacts to the Republic of Haiti. “The 479 Haitian artifacts were discovered in 2014, when the FBI Art Crime Team seized more than 7,000 items from the private collection of an amateur archeologist, Donald Miller, who had likely acquired the items in contravention of state and federal law and international treaties. This was the largest single recovery of culture property in FBI history.”

GW Today: Collections Website Offers Research Opportunities

GW Today: Collections Website Offers Research Opportunities. “The George Washington University has launched its pilot collections website, a work in progress presenting high-resolution photographs of and information on more than 4,000 artifacts and works of art. The site is a collaboration between the George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum, the Luther W. Brady Art Gallery and the Corcoran School of the Arts and Design.”

Smithsonian Magazine: Website Provides Blueprint for Repatriating Aboriginal Remains

Smithsonian Magazine: Website Provides Blueprint for Repatriating Aboriginal Remains. “While efforts to bring Aboriginal remains home have increased in recent years, as the numbers show, there remains much work to be done when it comes to repatriation and community healing. A new website funded by the Australian Research Council and project partner organizations aims to support those intertwined efforts. Called Return, Reconcile, Renew (RRR), it illuminates the historic and ongoing implications of stealing ancestral remains from Aboriginal communities, provides a virtual space for support and healing, and also offers a roadmap to help Aboriginal communities successfully secure the return of stolen ancestral remains.”

Chicago Tribune: Illinois State Museum is first in world to return artifacts as part of Australian project to reclaim aboriginal art

I believe I saw this on Twitter, thanks to the Clomping Librarian. Thank you kindly! Chicago Tribune: Illinois State Museum is first in world to return artifacts as part of Australian project to reclaim aboriginal art . “Representatives from the Bardi Jawi and Aranda communities will travel to Springfield next month to pick up 42 artifacts, including boomerangs, shields, spears, and body ornaments, as part of an initiative funded by the Australian government to repatriate overseas artifacts called the Return of Cultural Heritage Project, according to a news release from the museum.”

Phys .org: Study of Dead Sea Scroll sheds light on a lost ancient parchment-making technology

Phys .org: Study of Dead Sea Scroll sheds light on a lost ancient parchment-making technology . “First discovered in 1947 by Bedouin shepherds looking for a lost sheep, the ancient Hebrew texts known as the Dead Sea Scrolls are some of the most well-preserved ancient written materials ever found. Now, a study by researchers at MIT and elsewhere elucidates a unique ancient technology of parchment making and provides potentially new insights into methods to better preserve these precious historical documents.”

Phys .org: Science puts historical claims to the test

Phys .org: Science puts historical claims to the test. “As any historian will tell you, we can rarely take the claims made by our ancestors at face value. The authenticity of many of the artefacts which shape our understanding of the past have been hotly debated for centuries, with little consensus amongst researchers. Now, many of these disputes are being resolved through scientific research, including two studies recently published in EPJ Plus.”

This is Africa: Kenya is creating a database of plundered cultural artefacts and their current locations

This is Africa: Kenya is creating a database of plundered cultural artefacts and their current locations. “While other African countries have been petitioning for decades and are actively moving towards the repatriation of cultural artefacts that were plundered during the colonial era, Kenya has only recently launched an investigation into which objects were removed from the East African nation, where in the West they are housed and who holds the agency to demand their repatriation.”

Build digital database to catalogue, prevent smuggling of artifacts: India-born intl museum expert (Business Standard)

Business Standard: Build digital database to catalogue, prevent smuggling of artifacts: India-born intl museum expert. “As museums across the world grapple with the problem of stolen artifacts, a renowned museum expert of Indian origin has called for establishing digital databases, particularly in countries like India, to maintain required checks and prevent valuable antiquities from being smuggled.”

Calgary Herald: U of L project creates detailed models of Blackfoot artifacts

Calgary Herald: U of L project creates detailed models of Blackfoot artifacts. “A group of University of Lethbridge researchers and Blackfoot elders will spend two weeks in England this summer to produce detailed models of Blackfoot artifacts. Christine Clark, one of the researchers embarking on the trip in July, said the artifacts will be documented through a process called photogrammetry, which involves taking a series of photos all the way around the object. Software will then be used to transform the images into a realistic 3-D model.”