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Education Fostering interest in ancient history and coins.

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Old Jan 31, 2007, 07:12 PM   #16
AncientDave
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The door says pull, so you can quit your pushing Renfrew......
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Old Jan 31, 2007, 07:21 PM   #17
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Because the tactics used here are what the BATFE has used for years to "legislate" without consent of the "legesees", arbitrarily and without oversight, I might try to make my case to the gun collector community who are all very pro-free market and sick and tired of policies made that restrict logic and liberty. I admin on a forum of over 30,000 members, some collect coins as well. We love activism, its in our blood.
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Old Feb 2, 2007, 04:10 PM   #18
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770 faxes so far--very impressive. I never thought we would reach 500.

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Old Feb 5, 2007, 09:21 AM   #19
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Apparently the AIA is feeling the pressure, as a letter from the new president of the AIA appeared on its site this weekend:

http://www.archaeological.org/webinfo.php?page=10402

Mr. Rose claims that he is a numismatist, but his CV shows no publications which are of a numismatic nature - he did attend the ANS Summer Seminar in 1978 and 1979, and thereby can claim an interest in numismatics on his CV (well, I can do that too!).

I quote from his letter:

"Coins, however, typically include references to and depictions of known rulers, and the exact date of minting within that ruler's reign can often be determined. When a coin is found in a tomb or stratigraphic context, it can provide a terminus post quem—in other words, the date when the coin was minted provides the earliest possible absolute date after which the coin was buried."

All of this is true, to an extent. To the archaeologist, the coin serves only as a stratigraphic marker, and nothing else. After that, it's tossed in the bin with the pottery shards and other bits. The coins found on site are never, ever, used again., and rarely, if ever, get published.

A quote about dealers:

"Coin collectors and dealers often suggest that collectible coins are discovered only in isolated hoards outside of settlement sites. Scientific excavations throughout the world demonstrate that this is not correct. Sixty-eight coins, for example, were found in a variety of contexts at the Cypriot site of Idalion, and were published with their findspots by Ino Nicolaou, then Assistant Curator at the Cyprus Museum in Nicosia, in the volume American Expedition to Idalion, Cyprus 1973-1980 (Lawrence E. Stager and Anita M. Walker; Chicago: The Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago, 1989, pp. 447-456).

Coin hoards can be and have been discovered within habitation layers, buried under floors, and in deposits related to the destruction of settlements. When we find these hoards in context, we can often determine which coins were in circulation within a particular region at a particular time; if the hoard is looted and presented for the first time on the art market, we can never be certain whether all of the coins are genuine, or whether part of the hoard was actually assembled by the dealer in order to increase the value of the coins that comprise it."

Apparently dealers not only put together fake hoards, but they can'nt even tell real coins from fakes.

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Old Feb 10, 2007, 10:12 PM   #20
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Now you know why it's being done!

Latest news from the BBC! In Spain the police conducted 68 raids on groups that illegally dig up and smuggle, through mail sales, artifacts, including our COINS! Read here http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/6341887.stm
Can't help but understand countries will attempt to stop such actions. There is another article about arrests in France. Just a matter of time before there are laws to prevent this from occcurring. No more open "free" borders and markets.
Hey and I did send in a fax about coins being excluded. But this is just getting out of control!
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Old Feb 10, 2007, 11:05 PM   #21
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Cool No more freedom

Well it shouldn't be surprising what with the general assault on individual liberties world-wide and esp. in the United States and the United Kingdom, home of the neo-cons. Everywhere you look these days coming from all directions. The Powers That Be want control over you!

Great news about the number of faxes however.
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Old Feb 11, 2007, 07:38 AM   #22
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With all due respect, FREEDOM does not mean doing ANYTHING one wants to do. Acting in a "proper' manner with respect to society is a part. In this case, there is merit to "government's" enacting safegaurds so the national heritage is not ransacked for a quick dollar. Recently, there was a excellent program on the very subject, I think on Discovery. It's just a matter of numbers, one dealer in Israel pointed out. The looters operate 24/7 and there are many of them surveying the countryside. On the other hand, organized expeditions from Universities are usually limited to a season on a site, that lasts for a month or two. In addition they use "volunteers" to shift through the layers of soil. Now, who do you think is going to find more "artifacts"? In addition, places like rural Spain, France, and the Middle East are economically poor.
Unless Governments neutalize the profit motive, like England with the Treasure Trove Act, any law will just be broken! The looters don't have to be told what to do, their stomachs do so.
Here in rich urban areas , maybe we take alot for granted and can't put ourselves in their shoes. It is not a simple problem, with a simple solution.
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Old Feb 11, 2007, 10:28 AM   #23
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Protecting national treasures...who would argue with this need?

However, that's not what is being proposed or debated currently. Cyprus is seeking to abolish ANY item older than 250 years old for export. Not just "national treasures." This proposal, as well as those in other countries, is overly broad and includes items of commonality (e.g., coins) that have nothing to do with national treasure - the loss of which to export will not damage Cypriot cultural heritage. The same goes for common artifacts and items of any country.

In any event, these idiotic PC cultural laws will do NOTHING to stem the tide of the looting you so aptly deride...if anything they will only increase the price for such items and fuel greater demand, which in turn will cause more of the problem these stupid laws seek to correct. In addition, rather than items being displayed in museums around the world, they will now be forced underground and out of public display. So, rather than going to the Getty to see some nice antiquities and sharing in public display, artifacts of import will populate the manors and vaults of the ultra-rich to be see by almost no one.

Jeff
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Old Feb 11, 2007, 09:00 PM   #24
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I agree with your reasoning 100 percent! The sad fact of the matter is a program could be enacted to benefit everyone concerned. Let us first recognize that the actual looters are recieving very little monies in relation to the actual value of the artifacts. The "fences' are the ones (besides the retail sellers), are the folks reaping the most. We could easily eliminate the "fences" with a government office that in turn would wholesale unwanted artifacts to the marketplace. With the proceeds the finders (looters) would get a fair percent of the gross. Thus, satisfying the demand and the government office would direct the "find info" to the proper scientific university experts for study. They could in turn follow up in whatever manner that is appropriate. Whow, all in one paragraph. Hope someone reads this and can make it HAPPEN!
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Old Jul 13, 2007, 07:51 PM   #25
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We lost. The cultural gestapo won...or alternatively, we need Cyprus as a friendly advance base for further US encroachment on Middle East oil regions.

================================

Import Restrictions Imposed on Cypriot Coins
http://tinyurl.com/3a3nqp
Today the US State Department imposed restrictions on importation of ancient coins "of Cypriot types" issued prior to 330 a.d
Anyone importing coins of "Cypriot" types (or anything remotely similar) may find them detained by Customs, which now has broad discretion to detain any coin that looks “Cypriot” (the restrictions state “including, but not limited to” the types listed—the designated list is illustrative not definitive). Importers of many different types of non-Cypriot coins may be at risk, because most Customs officials cannot distinguish one ancient coin from another, and the new regulations provide almost no practically useful guidance.
Detained coins will be sent to a bonded warehouse to be held at the risk and expense of the importer (which could be financially onerous even if the coins are recovered), until satisfactory documentation or evidence is filed with the Customs officer. The burden will then fall upon the importer to produce either an export certificate issued by the Cypriot Government, or certifications from both exporter and importer declaring that the coin in question was out of Cyprus as of July 13, 2007. If satisfactory documentation or evidence is not presented within ninety days after the date of detention, the coins would be subject to seizure and forfeiture.
It may not be easy to get such a declaration in proper form from an exporter, and the importer would also be at the mercy of Customs as to whether the declarations were deemed sufficient. In the ordinary course of numismatic business, neither exporter nor importer are likely to know where a coin was at any particular past date, because coins are so common and have such low value that this information is normally not worth documenting. Thus, many coins which “look Cypriot,” but were never in Cyprus since ancient times, will probably be seized and sent to Cyprus for lack of documentation.
An explanation of the documentation requirement can be found at the Cultural Heritage Center site:
http://exchanges.state.gov/culprop/faqs.html
A legal definition of the required documentation can be found in the text of the CPIA statute:
http://exchanges.state.gov/culprop/97-446.html#two-three#two-three
SEC. 307.23 IMPORT RESTRICTIONS.
This regulatory action impacts all collectors of ancient coins, and dealers and auction houses who supply them. The restrictions announced today are expected to be a significant problem in themselves, and worse could follow because there is now a regulatory precedent for imposing import restrictions on coins. It may not take very many additional import restrictions of this type to make importing ancient coins into the USA so complicated and onerous that few will go through the difficulties of importing them.
The breadth of the threat to private collecting extends far beyond ancient coins. Most types of collectibles more than 100 years old are included in the scope of the 1970 UNESCO Convention, and the CPIA statute that implemented it in the USA. Collectors of medieval and world coins, foreign postage stamps and banknotes, and antiquarian books may one day find themselves facing preservationist efforts to impose similar import restrictions.
Extracts from the notice in the Federal Register follow.
Dave Welsh

Vol. 72, No. 134 / Friday, July 13, 2007 / Rules and Regulations
DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY
Bureau of Customs and Border Protection
DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY
19 CFR Part 12
[CBP Dec. 07–52]
RIN 1505–AB80
Extension of Import Restrictions Imposed on Pre-Classical and Classical Archaeological Objects and Byzantine Period Ecclesiastical and Ritual Ethnological Material From Cyprus
This document also contains the Designated List of Archaeological Objects and Ethnological Material that describes the articles to which the restrictions apply. Note that one subcategory, Coins of Cypriot Types, has been added to the category entitled Metal.
EFFECTIVE DATE: July 16, 2007.
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:
Background

The Designated List of articles that are protected pursuant to the bilateral agreement, as extended, on Pre-Classical
and Classical Archaeological Objects and Byzantine Period Ecclesiastical and Ritual Ethnological Material from
Cyprus has been revised and is published below. We note that the subcategory Coins of Cypriot Types has been added to the category entitled Metal, pursuant to 19 U.S.C. 2604. This addition comes in response to a request from the Government of the Republic of Cyprus to amend the Designated List.
Coins constitute an inseparable part of the archaeological record of the island, and, like other archaeological objects, they are vulnerable to pillage and illicit export.
List of Archaeological Objects From Cyprus Representing Pre-Classical andClassical Periods Ranging in Date From Approximately the 8th Millennium B.C. to Approximately 330 A.D.
III. Metal

D. Coins of Cypriot Types
Coins of Cypriot types made of gold, silver, and bronze including but not limited to:
1. Issues of the ancient kingdoms of Amathus, Kition, Kourion, Idalion, Lapethos, Marion, Paphos, Soli, and
Salamis dating from the end of the 6th century B.C. to 332 B.C.
2. Issues of the Hellenistic period, such as those of Paphos, Salamis, and Kition from 332 B.C. to c. 30 B.C.
3. Provincial and local issues of the Roman period from c. 30 B.C. to 235 A.D. Often these have a bust or head on
one side and the image of a temple (the Temple of Aphrodite at Palaipaphos) or statue (statue of Zeus Salaminios) on the other.
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Old Jul 13, 2007, 09:26 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cogito View Post
Anyone importing coins of "Cypriot" types (or anything remotely similar) may find them detained by Customs, which now has broad discretion to detain any coin that looks “Cypriot” (the restrictions state “including, but not limited to” the types listed—the designated list is illustrative not definitive).
I can already envision mountains of paperwork and lots of headaches related to this. Even if customs have a numismatist on staff (just hypothetically speaking ), they still wouldn't be able to go through a large shipment of coins and determine whether they are Cypriot in an efficient way. Unfortunately it may come down to the amout of work and mood of the customs official to determine whether the coins are "Cypriot".
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Old Jul 15, 2007, 09:56 AM   #27
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The problem is that Customs doesn't have to "determine" whether or not a coin is Cypriote. They can just arbitrarily claim a piece is Cypriote and it will be up to you to prove it is not. (You're guilty until you prove your innocence.) The burden of proof is on you, not on Customs. Furthermore, even if you eventually provide proof, you will be out the cost of storage, not to mention your lost time and effort.

And how do you convince someone who couldn't recognize a non-Cyriote coin in the first place that it isn't Cypriote after all?

It's unreasonable, unworkable, and unnecessary -- and that delights the rabid anti-collectors.

Bill
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Old Jul 15, 2007, 10:46 AM   #28
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Best short-term advice. Don't order anything from Cyprus. If you order from a German or Austrian auction house, it might be better to route first to a representative in another country not so heavily on the cultural police radar screen.

This whole debacle reminds me of a modifed Braveheart quote, "They can stop some imports, but the will NEVER take away our ability to collect!"

Jeff
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Old Jul 15, 2007, 02:59 PM   #29
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Most of the coins I order from overseas don't have anything written on the package which says "coin" anyway. They usually say something like "antique medal", "metal stamping", "antique numismatic material for study purposes", etc. So far I haven't received anything which has ever been opened by customs so I'm not convinced yet that this is going to really be a big deal for your average collector. Not unless they start openeing every parcel that could conceivably contain coins in order to check for Cypriot material.

Voz
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Old Jul 15, 2007, 04:01 PM   #30
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Cross-Posting from Yahoo Group

I just posted the following on one of the Yahoo ancient coin groups, and think it worthy of including on this thread:

Here's one approach that might accomplish a lot, though I'm not so sure it would be a good idea if only a few people did it:

Suppose those of us who sell ancient coins on Ebay started putting the text like the following on our item pages?

At the very top of the page, maybe even above the item title and headline photo if we've got one, something like: "In protest of the recent decision to require US Customs to detain, and possibly confiscate, imports of "Cyprus-like" ancient coins in an extremely onerous and burdensome manner, I will not send this, or any other coin, ancient, antique, or modern to any shipping address in the Republic of Cyprus. Cyprus residents, please do not bid on this item."

Followed by a clickable link to somewhere around the bottom of the page: "See below for details."

The clickable link would take the viewer to a few CAREFULLY-WORDED and ALMOST EXCESSIVELY POLITE sentences that go something like this: "It is our strongly-held opinion that objects representing the cultural patrimony of any country is best preserved by keeping only a signicant
portion of it in its locale of origin, leaving the remainder to be
freely traded to, among others, private collectors all over the world, who, because of their interest in history and the cultures of other peoples, are usually as well-equipped as archaeologists, museum curators, and such, to cherish and preserve such items."

"Furthermore, those of us who are subscribing to this export boycott are of the opinion that ANCIENT AND ANTIQUE COINS in particular, for a wide variety of very valid reasons, are especially unsuited to be included in any plan for internationally-enforced cultural preservation by way of customs intervention."

"Those of us who collect old coins and other inexpensive artifacts of little archaeological significance are as concerned about archaeological depredation as anybody else, but we are alarmed at the increasing trend of governments, especially the Republic of Cyprus, to enact burdensome trade restrictions which are ineffective, and often counterproductive, in preventing or curbing archaeological depredation."

I'm sure Wayne and the ACCG could help with the wording, especially with any additional sentences detailing the "very valid reasons." I'd also like to hear more from anybody who has some inside scoop on the current political situation vis-a-vis the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, 'cause there MIGHT (or might not, for all I know) be nothing that would make them twice about what they're doing, faster than saying we WILL ship to their ethnic Turk secessionists.

PLEASE NOTE I do not suggest anybody rush off and start doing this right away on their own. It will be far more effective if such "open letters" to the government of Cyprus, and other governments which will surely be watching, are numerous (including appearances on VCoins, etc. carefully and deliberately worded; and contain little or no variation.
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