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Academic interests

Ever since my PhD on Cyprus, my research has encompassed the law, ethics and politics of archaeological work in conflict economies, particularly in occupied territories and internationally-unrecognized administrations; destruction of cultural property; looting, theft and forgery of cultural objects; and heritage propaganda. Since then, I have used open-source research to trace the history of conflict antiquities trafficking (the financing of political violence with the proceeds of heritage crime) around the world; to document the functioning of trafficking in Turkey, Syria, Iraq and elsewhere; and to fact-check claims of damage, destruction, looting and theft in countries from Ukraine to Libya to Yemen.

As part of the Heritage Experience Initiative, my project will examine the relationships between illicit trafficking of cultural objects and political violence in the Mediterranean and the Middle East. First, focusing on the Eastern Mediterranean, I will explore the practice of looting; the interconnections between cultural property crimes and other crimes; and the politics of policing. Second, focusing on West Asia and North Africa, I will review the evidence for conflict antiquities trafficking; the use of heritage propaganda; and the interconnections between antiquities trafficking and the refugee crisis. Third, focusing on North Africa and the Western Mediterranean, I will explore the transnational networks that bridge conflict zones and antiquities markets. Altogether, this evidence will inform efforts to reduce the loss of cultural heritage and the income of violent organizations.


I will contribute to teaching the following courses at the University of Oslo: 

  • Heritage, Material Culture and Conflict (ARK4210), Spring, Oslo
  • Roma - Sted og symbol (Roma2020), Autumn, Rome
  • Etterutdanningskurs for lærere, Winter, Rome


  • Senior Visiting Fellow, UCL Qatar (2018-2019)
  • Consultant, ICOM (2018)
  • Consultant, ICOM (2017)
  • Consultant, UNESCO Office in Amman (2017)
  • Critical Heritage Research Fellow, Research Center for Anatolian Civilizations (ANAMED), Koç University (2016)
  • Consultant, UNESCO HQ (2016)
  • Consultant, Global Witness (2015)
  • Adjunct Professor, American University of Rome (since 2014)
  • Honorary Research Associate, Institute of Archaeology, University College London (since 2013)


  • DPhil in Law Studies, University of Sussex (2005-2011)
  • Studies in Modern Greek Language and Culture, University of Ioannina (2009-2010)
  • MSc in Social Research Methods, University of Sussex (2004-2005)
  • MA in Cultural Heritage Studies, University College London (2003-2004)
  • BA in Archaeology and Prehistory, University of Sheffield (2000-2003)


Member of the Circolo Gianicolense - a research network in the Gianicolo area of Rome.



  • Hardy, Samuel Andrew (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, Arianna; Milano, Lucio; Tonghini, Cristina & Giovanelli, Riccardo (Ed.), Stolen heritage: Multidisciplinary perspectives on illicit trafficking of cultural heritage in the EU and the MENA region. Edizioni Ca’ Foscari - Digital Publishing, Fondazione Università Ca’ Foscari. ISSN 978-88-6969-517-9. p. 115–155.
  • Hardy, Samuel Andrew (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. ISSN 2514-8362. 4(1), p. 169–187. doi: 10.5334/jcaa.76.
  • Hardy, Samuel Andrew (2021). Conflict antiquities’ rescue or ransom? The cost of buying back stolen cultural property in contexts of political violence. International Journal of Cultural Property. ISSN 0940-7391. 28(1), p. 5–26. doi: 10.1017/S0940739121000084.
  • Hardy, Samuel Andrew (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. ISSN 2514-8362. 4(1), p. 169–187. doi: 10.5334/JCAA.76.
  • Hardy, Samuel Andrew (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 (RAP). ISSN 1131-883X. p. 215–240. doi: 10.21001/rap.2020.30.11.
  • Hardy, Samuel Andrew (2020). 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. ISSN 2202-7998. 10(1), p. 65–82. doi: 10.5204/ijcjsd.v10i1.1526.
  • Hardy, Samuel Andrew (2020). 'You just have to wear it': Trafficking of metal-detected antiquities from South-East Asia. In Hufnagel, Saskia & Moiseienko, Anton (Ed.), Policing Transnational Crime: Law Enforcement of Criminal Flows. Routledge. ISSN 9780815354635. p. 63–95. doi: https%3A/
  • Hardy, Samuel Andrew (2020). Criminal money and antiquities: An open source investigation into transnational organized cultural property crime. In Benson, Katie; King, Colin & Walker, Clive (Ed.), Assets, crimes and the state: Innovation in 21st century legal responses. Routledge. ISSN 9780367025922. p. 154–167. Full text in Research Archive
  • Hardy, Samuel Andrew (2019). Heritage crime: Criminological perspectives. In Mitsilegas, Valsamis; Hufnagel, Saskia & Moiseienko, Anton (Ed.), Research Handbook on Transnational Crime. Edward Elgar Publishing. ISSN 9781784719432. p. 383–402. doi: 10.4337/9781784719449.00033.
  • Hardy, Samuel Andrew (2019). Iconoclasm – religious and political motivations for destroying art. In Hufnagel, Saskia & Chappell, Duncan (Ed.), Palgrave Handbook on Art Crime. Palgrave Macmillan. ISSN 113754404X. p. 625–652. doi: https%3A/ Full text in Research Archive
  • Hardy, Samuel Andrew (2019). To get a good price, 'you have to sell in international bidding sites': Trafficking of metal-detected cultural goods from South Asia. In Hufnagel, Saskia & Moiseienko, Anton (Ed.), Criminal networks and law enforcement: Global international perspectives on illicit enterprise. Routledge. ISSN 978-0-8153-8600-1. p. 93–119. doi: 10.4324/9781351176194-6. Full text in Research Archive
  • Hardy, Samuel Andrew (2019). Antiquities trafficking and conflict financing: The fight against looting and smuggling of cultural property goods in a global perspective of peace. In Caracciolo, Ida & Montuoro, Umberto (Ed.), Preserving cultural heritage and national identities for international peace and security. G. Giappichelli Editore. ISSN 9788892180710. p. 15–26.
  • Hardy, Samuel Andrew (2019). 'Paint it black': 'Simple' and increasingly 'professional' looting of antiquities with metal detectors in East Asia. In Mitsilegas, Valsamis; Hufnagel, Saskia; Moiseienko, Anton; Yanan, Shi & Mingxiang, Liu (Ed.), Transnational Crime: European and Chinese Perspectives. Routledge. ISSN 9781138494015. p. 103–126.
  • Hardy, Samuel Andrew (2018). Metal detecting for cultural objects until ‘there is nothing left’: The potential and limits of digital data, netnographic data and market data for analysis. Arts. ISSN 2076-0752. 7(3). doi: 10.3390/arts7030040.
  • Hardy, Samuel Andrew (2017). Illegal finders of antiquities in Ukraine: Do digital data indicate grassroots growth, coincidence, false advertising, astroturfing, trolling or sockpuppetry? Ukrainian Archaeology. ISSN 2616-499X. 2016, p. 3–14.
  • Hardy, Samuel Andrew (2017). Quantitative analysis of open-source data on metal detecting for cultural property: Estimation of the scale and intensity of metal detecting and the quantity of metal-detected cultural goods. Cogent Social Sciences. ISSN 2331-1886. 3. doi: 10.1080/23311886.2017.1298397.
  • Hardy, Samuel Andrew (2017). The archaeological profession and human rights. In Moshenska, Gabriel (Eds.), Key concepts in public archaeology. UCL Press. ISSN 9781911576419. p. 93–106. doi: 10.2307/j.ctt1vxm8r7.11.
  • Hardy, Samuel Andrew (2016). ‘Black archaeology’ in Eastern Europe: Metal detecting, illicit trafficking of cultural objects and ‘legal nihilism’ in Belarus, Poland, Russia and Ukraine. Public Archaeology. ISSN 1465-5187. 15(4), p. 214–237. doi: 10.1080/14655187.2017.1410050.
  • Hardy, Samuel Andrew (2015). The conflict antiquities trade: A historical overview. In Desmarais, France (Eds.), Countering the illicit traffic in cultural goods: The global challenge of protecting the world’s heritage. International Council of Museums Committee for Conservation (ICOM-CC). ISSN 9789290124153. p. 21–31.
  • Hardy, Samuel Andrew (2015). Is looting-to-order ‘just a myth’? Open-source analysis of theft-to-order of cultural property. Cogent Social Sciences. ISSN 2331-1886. 1(1). doi: 10.1080/23311886.2015.1087110.
  • Hardy, Samuel Andrew (2015). Online resistance to precarious archaeological labour. Internet Archaeology. ISSN 1363-5387. 39(4). doi: 10.11141/ia.39.4.
  • Hardy, Samuel Andrew (2015). Virtues impracticable and extremely difficult: The human rights of subsistence diggers. In Gonzalez-Ruibal, Alfredo & Moshenska, Gabriel (Ed.), Ethics and the archaeology of violence. Springer. ISSN 978-1-4939-1643-6. p. 229–239.
  • Hardy, Samuel Andrew (2014). The looting of archaeological heritage: The politics of archaeological work in structurally weak places – Frankfurt in Nigeria. AP: Online Journal in Public Archaeology. ISSN 2171-6315. 4, p. 23–29.
  • Hardy, Samuel Andrew (2014). Threats to cultural heritage in the Cyprus Conflict. In Grove, Louise & Thomas, Suzie (Ed.), Heritage crime: Progress, prospects and prevention. Palgrave Macmillan. ISSN 978-1-137-35751-9. p. 81–104.
  • Hardy, Samuel Andrew (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. ISSN 0928-1371. 20(4), p. 459–474. doi: 10.1007/s10610-014-9250-x.
  • Stylianou-Lambert, Theopisti; Bounia, Alexandra & Hardy, Samuel Andrew (2014). Resisting institutional power: The women of St. Barnabas. Visitor Studies. ISSN 1064-5578. 17(1), p. 3–23. doi: 10.1080/10645578.2014.885351.

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  • Biffis, Mattia; Hardy, Samuel Andrew; Prescott, Christopher & Michelloni, Manuela (2021). ACTA AD ARCHAEOLOGIAMET ARTIVM HISTORIAM PERTINENTIA XXXII (n.s. 18). Scienze e Lettre. ISBN 978-88-6687-204-7. XXXII(32). 192 p.

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  • Hardy, Samuel Andrew (2021). Illegal Traffic in Antiquities and Cultural Materials from Syria.
  • Hardy, Samuel Andrew (2021). How Does the Market Get Away with It?
  • Hardy, Samuel Andrew (2020). This black market is destroying our history. [Internet].
  • Hardy, Samuel Andrew (2020). NETCHER H2020 Public Conference on Illicit Trafficking of Cultural Heritage. [Internet]. YouTube.
  • Hardy, Samuel Andrew (2020). Trafficking of antiquities by refugees: Failed policy and exploited victims.
  • Hardy, Samuel Andrew (2020). ‘This business has no party’: Online social organisation of looting and trafficking.
  • Hardy, Samuel Andrew (2020). Open-Source Research: What Can Be Found and How to Find It.
  • Hardy, Samuel Andrew (2020). Open-Source Research: What Can Be Found and How to Find It.
  • Hardy, Samuel Andrew (2020). Introduction: A multiplicity of crimes by a network of networks.
  • Hardy, Samuel Andrew (2019). Il crimine organizzato per il traffico di beni culturali in Turchia. [Organised crime in trafficking of cultural goods in Turkey.].
  • Hardy, Samuel Andrew (2019). Myths, propaganda and the reality of terrorist financing through trafficking of art and antiquities.
  • Hardy, Samuel Andrew (2019). In the line of fire: The exploitation of cultural heritage in hybrid warfare – occupation, destruction, trafficking, espionage and propaganda.
  • Hardy, Samuel Andrew (2019). Online trafficking of cultural objects from crisis zones and conflict zones and open-source analysis of the illicit trade.
  • Hardy, Samuel Andrew (2019). Metal-detectorists, ‘even from Sweden’, in Turkey, Greece and Cyprus: Online social organisation of treasure-hunting in the Eastern Mediterranean.
  • Hardy, Samuel Andrew (2019). How Trafficking Works: Introduction to Illicit Art Trafficking to Define Mitigation Measures.
  • Hardy, Samuel Andrew (2019). Cultural heritage and peacebuilding.

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Published Aug. 17, 2020 1:13 PM - Last modified May 4, 2021 11:17 AM