Sam Hardy

Illicit Antiquities Research

Sam Hardy is the Head of Illicit Trade Research at the Heritage Management Organization. Trained in archaeology at the University of Sheffield, cultural heritage studies at University College London and social research methods plus socio-legal studies at the University of Sussex, Sam has served as a consultant for Global Witness, UNESCO, the UNESCO Office in Amman and the International Council of Museums (ICOM). He has delivered training for UNESCO; the UNESCO Office in Beirut; the ICCROM-ATHAR Regional Conservation Centre and Interpol; France’s National Police College (ENSP); the World Customs Organization (WCO); and the Peace Operations Training Centre (POTC), as part of European Union Police and Civilian Services Training (EUPCST). His research focuses on cultural property crime at times of socio-economic crisis, political crisis and political violence. Currently works as Illicit Heritage Research Officer for the Heritage Management Organization.    Selected publications

  • Hardy, S A. 2021: “It is not against the law, if no one can see you: Online social organisation of artefact-hunting in former Yugoslavia”. Journal of Computer Applications in Archaeology, Volume 4, Number 1, 169-187.
  • Hardy, S A. 2021: “Organised crime in trafficking of cultural goods in Turkey and interconnections between antiquities trafficking and narcotics trafficking, arms trafficking and political violence”. In Traviglia, A, Milano, L, Tonghini, C and Giovanelli, R (Eds.). Stolen heritage: Multidisciplinary perspectives on illicit trafficking of cultural heritage in the EU and the MENA region, 115-155. Venice: Edizioni Ca’ Foscari.
  • Hardy, S A. 2021: “Conflict antiquities’ rescue or ransom? The cost of buying back stolen cultural property in contexts of political violence.” International Journal of Cultural Property, Volume 28, Number 1, 5-26.
  • Hardy, S A. 2021: “Private ‘rescue’-by-purchase of stolen cultural goods: The material and social consequences and the complicity of Europe and North America”. International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy, Volume 10, Number 1, 65-82.
  • Hardy, S A. 2020: “Treasure-hunters ‘even from Sweden’, organised criminals and ‘lawless’ police in the Eastern Mediterranean: Online social organisation of looting and trafficking of antiquities from Turkey, Greece and Cyprus”. Revista d’Arqueologia de Ponent, Number 30, 215-240.
  • Hardy, S A. 2016: “‘Black archaeology’ in Eastern Europe: Metal detecting, illicit trafficking of cultural objects and ‘legal nihilism’ in Belarus, Poland, Russia and Ukraine”. Public Archaeology, Volume 15, Number 4, 214-237.
  • Hardy, S A. 2015: “Destruction, theft and rescue of archaeological artefacts in Cyprus, 1963-1974: From the intercommunal conflict until the foreign invasions”. In Jacobs, A and Cosyns, P (Eds.). Cypriot material culture studies, from picrolite carving to proskynitaria analysis, 329-345. Brussels: VUBPRESS.
  • Hardy, S A. 2014: “Using open-source data to identify participation in the illicit antiquities market: A case study on the Cypriot civil war”. European Journal on Criminal Policy and Research, Volume 20, Number 4, 459-474.

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