Oldest first, -1) ? (c. 460 BC) The Biblical prophet Nahum prophesied against Iraq.  The British Museum was responsible for the sites and museums across Iraq during this time period. He quickly got permission from the U.S. Central Command to form an ad hoc "Monuments" team, composed of 14 members with investigative experience. Bogdanos - a keen amateur classicist - requested permission to investigate, put a team together, and hurried north to Baghdad. Write an article and join a growing community of more than 117,000 academics and researchers from 3,789 institutions. 0000009887 00000 n As early as 1884, laws passed in Mesopotamia about moving and destroying antiquities. Most of the lost artifacts have been found or returned, but there are still a significant amount that have been lost or have found their way into the thriving, illegal … 0000004922 00000 n Over the next few weeks, stolen goods began to trickle back, including a 6000 B.C. Gertrude Bell, well known for drawing the Iraq borders, excavated many sites around Iraq and created what is now the National Museum of Iraq. The meaning in Hebrew of the word “day” always means a 24 hour period of time. Due to the sheer scale of this comment community, we are not able to give each post Please 1 and 2) The global reaction to the images was an outpouring of concern and even anger that the looting was allowed to occur while U. S. troops were nearby. Guidelines. In 2015 the Iraq Museum in Baghdad re-opened 12 years after the looting. The Sacred Vase of Warka, after two weeks of negotiation, was returned in June in a car boot, along with 95 other artifacts. Ironically, centuries after many of the remains of these ancient cultural entities were looted by European colonial forces in order to fill grand national museums, we are seeing a 21st century version of cultural colonialism. Of the 5144 taken, just over half have been returned. Yet the biggest obstacle to the investigators' work was the poor state of the under-funded museum's records. Unfortunately though, they were focused on customs and attitudes rather than archaeological sites. There has been subsequent destruction of archaeological sites and museums in Syria and Libya, ISIS selling antiquities to finance weapons, and increases in thefts from both private and public collections and from archaeological sites. "The chaos," wrote Bogdanos, "was shocking: 103 fishing tackle-sized plastic boxes, originally containing thousands of cylinder seals, beads, amulets and jewellery were randomly thrown in all directions Amid the devastation, hundreds of surrounding larger, but empty, boxes had been untouched. Everyone of the 120 offices had been ransacked, every piece of furniture broken. “Until every last piece stolen from the Iraqi Museum has been recovered and returned to the Iraqi people,” he says, “I will continue to be haunted by what is still missing,” says Bogdanos.—End of Smithsonian Magazine article. , U.S. Marine Corps reservist Matthew Boulay witnessed illicit trading even on military bases Flea markets authorized by the camp commanders included a booth with antiquities for $20, $40 or $100 each. An optimist with an archaeologist’s long view of history, George believes that in the fullness of time, all of the antiquities will be returned. The widespread looting in Baghdad, Basra, Mosul, Kirkuk and other Iraqi cities, following the collapse of the Ba'athist regime of President Saddam Hussein, was not merely an incidental byproduct of the US military conquest of Iraq. Meanwhile, many of Iraq's 12,500 archaeological sites continue to be vulnerable to looting, and the Iraq Museum remains closed, its treasures bricked up within interior storage rooms. d����G endstream endobj 87 0 obj <. 1. , When the looting of the National Iraq Museum became known, experts from around the globe started planning to remedy the situation. 0000007644 00000 n ", It is impossible to discover exactly how much destruction to archeological sites has happened since 2003. He had worked in the State Department as a Foreign Service officer, as an international policy analyst for the White house and also served at an acting curator for the Getty Museum.  UNESCO then focused, for the next decade, on reconstruction after the fact rather than prevention measures. Early next year he will be back at the DA's office, conductinginvestigation into worldwide antiquities trade.  American troops in Iraq didn't trust Iraqi power of any kind meaning that instead of using and training Iraqi police, the US military took matters of security and policing into their own hands. 17th Annual Photo Contest Finalists Announced. , International military intervention against ISIL, Destruction of early Islamic heritage sites in Saudi Arabia, Looting and burning of the Summer Palaces, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Archaeological_looting_in_Iraq&oldid=980098918, Articles needing additional references from February 2019, All articles needing additional references, Articles with unsourced statements from September 2017, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. One early success was the famous Lady of Warka, dated to around 3100 BC; she was recovered by investigators at a nearby farm following a tip off. They saw its great metal door was wide open with no sign of a forced entry. The museum looting should have been a clarion call for the need for better protection of antiquities in conflict zones, both from combatants and local populations. The Baghdad Museum officially reopened in February 2015.  They found the famous sites such as Babylon, Hatra, Nimrud and Ur were under US military control. He was born in New York, as a boy worked in his family's Greek restaurant, became a marine, a reservist, a lawyer in the city's district attorney's office, lost his home in the 9/11 attacks, and had to use all his marine training to fight through crowds and emergency service workers to rescue his family from an flat whose windows were blown in and contents covered in two inches of ash. The storage rooms, for instance, contained thousands of unlogged excavated items.  The CA did, however, pull the only two archaeologists in Civil Affairs to be on a culture team, Maj. Chris Varhola and Capt.
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