The widespread looting of beads is becoming a problem in Thailand’s Chumphon province, where archaeological beads can fetch a high price and the monitoring of such activities can be hard to track.
22 October 2006 (Bangkok Post) – Looting on archaeological sites for prehistoric beads for resale leads to a clampdown on excavations. Remember: if you’re in the Chatuchak market and you’re offered to buy ancient beads, DON’T BUY THEM.
Ban slapped on excavation work
Local authorities in Chumphon and Sakaew have slapped a ban on excavation work following intensified looting by villagers hunting for ancient beads at archaeological sites. In Chumphon, widespread bead searches have been reported at archaeological sites on forest and private land in Muang and Sawee districts.
Further reports came in that four districts of Prachin Buri, including Si Maha Phot, Si Mahosot, Muang and Prachantakham, were home to the prehistoric beads, mostly made of shell and pottery, making them vulnerable to illegal hunting. The items could fetch 1,000 to 3,000 baht at local markets and Bangkok’s Chatuchak market.