Looted Heritage: Monitoring the Illicit Antiquities Trade with Social Media

This project is built on the foundations of my FASS Jr Research Fellowship project, ‘HeritageCrowd‘ and the lessons we learned. Like HeritageCrowd, Looted Heritage takes advantage of an open-source crowdsourcing platform called ‘Ushahidi‘ to ‘crowd map’ social media, press, and other digital artifacts related to the global illicit antiquities trade. The platform maps these notifications, and allows at-a-glance impressions of the current global pulse. It also allows one to download all of these notifications for more careful datamining. It was a ‘deployment of the week‘ when launched in 2012 on the basis of its unique contribution.

I use this platform and project to provide training opportunities for my undergraduate students in crowdsourcing, social media research, and data mining.  The initial results of this project have been written up with Robert Blades, a history undergraduate, and will be submitted to a journal in the summer of 2013. We posted the draft to Electric Archaeology, and it was selected as an Editors’ Choice by Digital Humanities Now (as was the post detailing the lessons learned after the malicious hacking of HeritageCrowd).

Blades became a HASTAC Scholar (Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Advanced Collaboratory) in 2012 partly on the basis of his work with Looted Heritage.

Comments are closed.