Initial returns were largely local. [35] Looters concentrated on sites that had the most marketable artifacts. [29], Gibson was part of the northern National Geographic team and he sent a report to the White House science advisor John Marburger. [17], Within the US military, Civil Affairs (CA) forces were important to the protection of culture and, as they were mostly reservists, included experts in a variety of areas including archaeology. (Figs. [32] A week later, the State Department announced it was forming a group to assist in the rebuilding of Iraq's cultural heritage. It was in this window of 36 hours that the thefts occurred. Part of the problem with halting the illegal global trade of stolen antiquities is the scale of the market. try again, the name must be unique, Please In one, Bogdanos, still a keen amateur boxer at 45, staged an impromptu sparring match with a local champion to provide a diversion while a colleague quizzed an informant. to your comment. Gold and lapis bowl from Ur, Iraq Museum IM8272. Upon becoming president in 1979, Saddam Hussein treasured his national heritage immensely and acted to defend these sites and the artifacts within them. Bogdanos says one of their best sources of information was the now discredited Dr Ahmed Chalabi, whose Iraqi National Congress forces stopped a truck bound for Iran and found on it no fewer than 465 items. pot wrapped in a 21st-century garbage bag and the Sacred Vase of Warka (c. 3200 B.C. Today’s antiquities black market is using social media platforms and messenger apps to reach buyers in a way that would have been inconceivable to looters in 2003. What Does the Zapruder Film Really Tell Us? They dispatched descriptions to border guards, customs agents, international police agencies and archaeologists around the world. Others have come home following international investigations (a large number of objects seem to have travelled through London and New York in the aftermath), such as a statue of Assyrian king Argon II seized in New York in 2008 and returned to the museum in 2015. 0000009302 00000 n What, however, had been taken was 4,795 cylinder seals, 5,542 coins, glass bottles, beads, amulets, and jewellery. [30] Other archeological experts in both the US and Britain were waiting for invitations to go to Iraq and help. Unfortunately though, they were focused on customs and attitudes rather than archaeological sites. Indeed the illegal trade in looted antiquities is growing. [7] By 2000 looting had become so rampant that the workers of the sites were even looting their own workplaces. |, A Photo of a Kid Enjoying the Summer Evening Playing With Sprinklers. But, in the public galleries, the damage was far lighter. Oriental Institute Lost Treasures from Iraq database. Over the years approximately 14,800 we… [36], Revenue from looted antiquities is estimated by the Archeological Institute of America to amount to between $10 to $20 million annually. The most insightful comments on all subjects Jonah was in the belly of the “whale” 4 days. “The museum must be the last place to be opened after everything else is completely secured in the country,” says George. Cookie Policy Objects were unearthed from backyards, fished out of a cesspool, recovered in pre-dawn raids. One of the great archaeological discoveries of the last hundred years, it had been seen in public only once, briefly, in 1989. "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. The looters has swept entire shelves of items into bags, and the result was 3,138 missing items, such as jars, vessels and shards. Enter your email to follow new comments on this article. 0000001948 00000 n Mary’s Perpetual Virginity & Jesus’ Brothers, Why Pollen on the Shroud of Turin Proves it is Real, Christian Inscriptions in Roman Catacombs, Eruption Of Mt. On 4 and 5 June the team returned, and found in the vaults a collection of wooden boxes (plus the body of a would-be robber). [19] These two men, however, in the end were sent to other places when the conflict began. Rothfield, Lawrence. Please In the years since, victors have taken the spoils, and in their wake, ordinary citizens and opportunistic thieves have grabbed anything of value in that confused pause between war and peace.

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