Ancient Artifacts

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“For most of us, the Web has forever distorted the antiquities trafficking market in a positive way,” said Charles “Chip” Stanish, an archaeologist at UCLA and an international expert on Andean archaeology.

If that didn’t quite compute, consider the numbers. Stanish first found about a 50-50 ratio of real artifacts to fakes when he began tracking eBay’s stock of antiquities related to his field. The fake relics jumped to 95 percent of the online inventory just five years later – and now their quality has improved so much that even Stanish has a hard time telling them apart from the real goods.

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