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Document Details :
Title: Crinoline Ladies and Lizard Men
Subtitle: A Review of 'Treasures from the Oxus' by Massimo Vidale
Author(s): CRAWFORD, Harriet
Journal: Bibliotheca Orientalis
Volume: 77 Issue: 1-2 Date: 2020
This book presents two groups of figurines thought to be from Central Asia and date to the late third/early second millennium BC. It also provides a very useful introduction to the archaeology of the region. The figurines are known respectively as Bactrian Princesses and Scarred or Lizard men. They are meticulously described with excellent photographs but they are all unprovenanced. The author does not include any discussion of the problems of publishing this type of material, or of the difficulty of weighing the importance of the objects themselves against the view of many professionals who feel that by publishing one is encouraging further looting and destruction. Looted material often also provides a useful way of laundering ‘hot’ money with profits apparently used to fund criminal activities such as gun and people smuggling.