Modeling the Antiquities Trade in Iraq and Syria (MANTIS)


We are an interdisciplinary research team at the University of Chicago working at the interface of economics and archaeology. Our work combines satellite images, archaeological records, and market data to impute information about trafficked artifacts from the Middle East.

The MANTIS project is still in progress. We will share data and findings when the analysis is complete. Thank you for your interest in our work.

MANTIS map_ISIS overlay_Feb 2016_0_1.jpg
Archaeological sites chosen for preliminary analysis in the MANTIS project. Highlighted area shows region of ISIS control
in Syria, as of February 2016.
Map courtesy of CAMEL Lab, The Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago; Base imagery Digital Globe, Google Earth


Concerning the essay published in The Conversation on May 30, 2016 by Fiona Rose-Greenland: Some readers have misconstrued this article as presenting new findings by the author about how much money ISIS makes from the illegal antiquities trade. Although the author's research team is studying this question, the figure cited in the piece comes from a 2015 presentation by the U.S. State Department - not from the author's findings. This article has been corrected accordingly.

Funders of the MANTIS Project