This is facts that need analyzing in order to be understood. The increasing numbers of reports on tampering with ancient monuments and archaeological materials may reflect more acts of plunder. But it could also reflect a higher incidence of reporting of such acts to competent authorities or a combination of them both. A third solution is of course that acts of plunder are currently deemed more newsworthy than before in our part of the world. And if this is the case, we must ask why has this become important now, and also, how does this influence our understanding of what is happening? The complexity of this problem and the ethical issues it raises require us to examine our view of the archaeological source material and archaeology as a profession in relation to society at large.
An international conference took place in Paris 2012 with participants from different European countries. The purpose of the conference was to discuss the kind of measures that need to be taken and what the societal consequences of these may be. The symposium included contributions that enrich our understanding of the situation and describe different ways of meeting the various challenges we face.