Antiquities are looted from archaeological sites across the world, seemingly more often in areas of armed conflict. While this is not the only context in which antiquities are looted, it is an important context and one for which much is still unknown. Previously, the relationship between antiquities looting and armed conflict has been assessed with qualitative case studies and journalistic evidence due to a lack of systematically collected data. This study considers the relationship between antiquities looting and armed conflict in Egypt from 1997 to 2014 with a newly collected time series dataset. Autoregressive Distributed Lag Models (ARDL) with a bounds testing approach are used to assess both the overall relationship between these two phenomena and their temporal ordering. This article finds that antiquities looting and armed conflict are, indeed, statistically related; and that antiquities looting more often precedes armed conflict rather than the other way around. This finding suggests that looting is more strategic than opportunistic. Implications and future directions are discussed.
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