The Iraq War & Archaeology
Reviewed Articles Archive Thirty-Five: First 1/2 of September 2004





This is the thirty-fifth archive of the reviewed articles of The Iraq War & Archaeology web site.


Francis Deblauwe, Ph.D.




The articles and other information are listed chronologically, most recent first.
Almost all are accessible for free (or after a free registration) on the internet.  Each time, I try to draw attention to the most relevant tidbits of information, esp. things that were not mentioned before; occasionally, I provide some comment.  The usual warning applies: many links become defective with time.  Inclusion in the list does not in any way mean that I necessarily agree with the opinions expressed in an article.  But for a few exceptions, the occasional photos and figures accompanying reviewed articles are just hotlinked images on other web sites, in other words: do not download them or request permission to publish them from me, for I do not own the copyright to them in any way!  Please do contact the rightful owners if you would like to use them for publication purposes. Finally, for the sake of convenience, all articles and so on are assumed to have been published on US web sites unless indicated otherwise.

  • M. Mikule, "Iraqi Culture Minister drawing on help in the Czech Republic," in Radio Prague (Czech Republic), with online audio, September 14, 2004: "... Mufid Jazairi, met in Prague this week with his Czech counterpart, Pavel Dostal, ..." "'The Czech side is trying to help us with ... preparing new equipment for the library, helping us with restoration of books and documents that were damaged, and preparing specialists - cadres that can do it themselves after returning from the Czech Republic.' ... It started two months ago when the Czech government decided to give about ten millions Czech Crowns helping the culture in Iraq, and this amount is now supposed to be used first of all in helping the [National L]ibrary as I said and partly financing costs for restoration not only of books, but also of paintings, archeological pieces made of stone or other materials.'"

    Photo: "Iraqi Minister of Culture Mufid Jazairy and Minister of foreign affairs Cyril Svoboda, photo: CTK"

  • "Looting of Iraqi Cultural Heritage Sites Worsens After Major Combat, Says CU's Bahrani," in Columbia News (New York), online with online video, September 10, 2004: interview with Dr. Zainab Bahrani, until recently Sr. Advisor for Culture to the powers that be in Iraq–something which is interestingly enough not mentioned at all; interspersed with good photographs; National Museum in Baghdad is unique because it covers very extensively only Iraq's own history; looted artifacts are often kept for 10-20 years before they're sold on the market; very important cuneiform texts are still missing [what does she mean?  supposedly, the tablet collection came through the whole looting spell unscathed?]; she calls attention to the underreported National Library disaster; things have actually worsened since last summer [in 2003] when she first visited because of the lack of guards and border control; the international community pledged a lot but hasn't come through with a lot of concrete help because of the security situation

    Photo: [no caption]

  • D. Williams, "Italians Unite Around Hostages. Opposition Pledges to Cooperate in Ending Crisis in Iraq," in The Washington Post, September 9, 2004: "A message posted on a Muslim Web site threatened further attacks against Italy because of the presence of Italian troops in Iraq. ... 'Now we announce that the kidnapping of the agents of Italian intelligence . . . is the first strike against Italy.'" [nothing could be further from the truth: Torretta and Pari are pacifists and opponents of Berlusconi's Iraq policies, see below]; "The note was purportedly issued by the Supporters of Zawahiri, which refers to Ayman Zawahiri, an Egyptian who is Osama bin Laden's deputy." "In recent interviews, Torretta told reporters that the Italian aid workers did not fear violence because 'the people are with us.' In a recent television interview, Pari labeled Italian troops 'occupying forces.' The umbrella organization for A Bridge to Baghdad had criticized Berlusconi for supporting the Bush administration's policy."

    Photo: "Simona Torretta, a volunteer for an Italian humanitarian aid organization, was abducted Tuesday in Baghdad with her colleague Simona Pari, ... Photo Credit: Undated Photo via Reuters"

  • "Thu Sep 9, 8:01 AM ET - Members of Iraqi families helped by the Italian aid organization 'Un Ponte Per Baghdad' (A Bridge for Baghdad) demand immediate release of the two kidnapped Italian female aid workers, during a demonstration in Baghdad, September 9, 2004. Gunmen abducted two Italian aid workers, Simona Pari and Simona Torretta and two Iraqis in central Baghdad on Tuesday in a brazen attack that will alarm foreigners already on edge from widespread kidnappings. REUTERS/Ali Jasim" [Yahoo! News Photos]

  • C. Ho, "Heritage Lost: Looting of archaeological sites continues in Iraq," in Saving Antiquities For Everyone, online, [September 2004]: "... the destruction due to large-scale looting to Iraq's rich heritage in archaeological sites that continues to this very day, extending [from the Dhi Qar governorate] to ancient cities in the Diwaniya governorate, including at Isin, Mashkan Shapir and Drehem as well as lesser-known sites.  These aerial photographs taken in September, 2003 by the Italian Carabinieri (national police)—who were responsible for guarding archaeological sites in the region of Nassyriah [=Dhi Qar governorate]—show the extent of the destruction at Abbas al-Kurdi, Jokha, Sifr, Tell Medinah, Tell Schmid, Umm al-Aqarib, and Zabalam. These buried ancient cities have been completely eaten away by crater-like holes, picked over by looters in broad daylight. A majority of these illicit digs are far more than small holes dug by local families with picks and shovels-they are massive quarrying efforts carried out by organized teams often involving hundreds of workers and mechanized equipment such as backhoes and bulldozers, sometimes financed by foreign dealers."

    Photo 1: "Looters waving from Isin. the arcaheological [sic] site (photo by John Russell)"

    Photos 2-8: "Photos by special permission from the Italian Carabinieri. Copyright Carabinieri T.P.C. Italia"

    Photo 2: "Abbas al-Kurdi"

    Photo 3: "Jokha" [ancient Umma]

    Photo 4: "Sifr" [ancient Kutalla]

    Photo 5: "Tell Medinah" [ancient Bad-Tibira]

    Photo 6: "Tell Schmid"

    Photo 7: "Umm al-Aqarib"

    Photo 8: "Zabalam" [modern Tell Ibzeikh]
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This site is edited by Belgian archaeologist Francis Deblauwe, Ph.D., living in Streamwood, Illinois (USA), who is affiliated with Archaeos, Inc., and a research associate of the University of Vienna (Austria).