Home Forums Who owns the past? Who owns the past? Reply To: Who owns the past?


I believe in the conservation of historical artifacts and conservation. Interestingly here in the USA more specifically in the southwest continental area, it can be illegal to pick up Native American artifacts and pottery shards. There are millions of shards laying on the ground that are slowly deteriorating cause of the natural elements. I believe sacred sites and specific areas that have meaning to Native Americans should belong to them and all the artifacts that reside there. That being said I don’t think it’s right to completely say one culture owns everything just because it was their ancestors. We are all humans on this planet and I believe the individual who goes out looking for artifacts and puts in the time and money should be rewarded for that. There are thousands of acres of pottery shards and to say you can’t touch or pick up pottery even if it’s on your land is ludicrous. Therefore it is very interesting to me that The Kouros figures from Attica Greece are on display in the Metropolitan museum of Art in New York. As well as the Assurnasirpal II Killing Lions is from Kalhu, also known as present-day Nimrud, Iraq, is on display in the British Museum in London. So long as the history of the artifact is correct and that the location of its origin is always known, I do not see why we cannot share what we have found with others or let those who find the objects have ownership.