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Class Notes May 2004: Volume 1, Number 2
   

Historical Crimes
Martin McAllister, ’70

   
     


Martin McAllister, ’70, analyzes crime scenes right out of a television police drama. He looks at clues such as cigarette butts, footprints and tire tracks. In McAllister’s business, however, the victims are different. They are archeological sites, damaged artifacts and other looted historical resources, ranging from pre-historic to old English settlements and Spanish missions.

McAllister’s company, Archaeological Resource Investigations (ARI), has been around since 1985 and has been involved in assessing some of the most notorious cases of looting and vandalism at historical sites.

After studying archeology at UCSD, McAllister spent some time in Guatemala working on Mayan ruins, before starting work with the U.S. National Forestry. After he left the service, he continued to work with government agencies as a consultant and formed ARI. Since its establishment, the company has consulted on over 200 archaeological violation cases, and with three main archeological damage experts, it provides clients consultation, investigation and damage assessment services.

“ Trafficking of antiquities is a multi-billion dollar industry,” McAllister says. “Governments and private corporations alike are increasingly becoming aware of why archeological sites should be preserved.”

ARI advises clients about how to protect historical resources
and what steps to take if a site is damaged. ARI also offers up to 10 training classes a year teaching archeological law enforcement.

McAllister says he is also hoping to expand his clientele in the next few years to the mining, timber, oil and gas industries.

“ We hope to train the staff and employees of these companies about archeological resources, what the laws are, how to avoid damaging these resources and even avoid potential legal consequences,” McAllister says.

— Marnette Federis, ’06, Neda Oreizy, ’08.

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"McAllister’s company, Archaeological Resource Investigations (ARI), has been around since 1985 and has been involved in assessing some of the most notorious cases of looting and vandalism at historical sites. "