During the past several months we have had an extended discussion in these pages as to whether BAR should accept ads from dealers in Near Eastern antiquities. This discussion began in
BAR will henceforth accept advertisements for Near Eastern antiquities. We have conscientiously tried to weigh the pros and cons, and this is where we come out.
There are, as far as we have been able to discern, two reasons for not accepting antiquities ads in BAR. First, it is wrong, as a matter of principle, because we thereby become a participant in a process of distributing illegally excavated artifacts. Second, to some small extent the acceptance of antiquities ads actually increases illegal excavations because this creates a demand for the illegal product and therefore encourages illegal digging that might otherwise not take place.