Artifacts are crucial to the understanding of past societies. Archaeologists are able to learn about the values and cultural practices through material remains left behind by ancient civilizations. Museums display artifacts not only to educate the general public, but to make modern nationalistic statements connecting the country in possession of material to the ancient civilization which created it. The critical point with most of these exhibitions is that many of the artifacts are not excavated from sites within the nation itself, but rather have been collected over the years from distant locations. The problem with this is that the removal of artifacts from their site has not always been done by legal means, and many of the more popularly known cases involve artifacts taken from their sites before laws were created to address the ownership of artifacts. In discussing the ownership of artifacts and the cultural heritage associated with them, it is important to know the story behind an artifact’s excavation and acquisition, as well as have an understanding of how laws display its placement in museums. This project examines three case studies: the Elgin Marbles, the Rosetta Stone, and the Trojan Treasure.


Navarro-Farr, Olivia



Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



© Copyright 2015 Rachael Aleshire