Strategic vs. Opportunistic Looting: The Relationship Between Antiquities Looting and Armed Conflict in Egypt
Fabiani, Michelle Rose Dippolito
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Antiquities are looted from archaeological sites across the world, seemingly more often in areas of armed conflict. Previously, the relationship between antiquities looting and armed conflict has been assessed with qualitative case studies and journalistic evidence due to a lack of data. This study considers the relationship between antiquities looting and armed conflict in Egypt from 1997 – 2014 with a newly collected time series dataset. A combination of Lag-augmented Vector Autoregression (LA-VAR) and Autoregressive Distributed Lag Models (ARDL) is used to look at both the overall relationship between these two phenomena and their temporal ordering. Ultimately, this thesis finds that: (1) antiquities looting and armed conflict have a positive statistically significant relationship, (2) there is stronger support for antiquities looting preceding armed conflict than for the reverse temporal ordering, and (3) this relationship varies by type of conflict.