The Iraq War & Archaeology
Reviewed Articles Archive Fifty-Five: First 1/2 of July 2005





This is the fifty-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.


  • "Live8 at the Eden Project. 'Africa Calling'. 2nd July 2005," in Lyre of Ur (UK), online with online audio, [July 2, 2005]: the Kenian musician and singer Ayub Ogada played the replica of the Sumerian Bull's Head Lyre in concert; you can listen to an MP3 [I think it's "Kronkrohinko"]: worth the download!  not a Mesopotamian song, of course, but the instrument is played to great effect by an accomplished musician

    Photo 1: "Ayub Ogada playing the Bull's Head Lyre"

    Photo 2: "Ayub playing the Bull's Head Lyre"


  • S. Farrell and R. Sabbagh-Gargour, "For sale: a nation's treasures. Iraqi officials fear that looters are funding the rebels," in The Times (UK), July 2, 2005: "The battered box labelled 'Rothmans Cigarettes' stands in a Jordanian customs warehouse surrounded by tonnes of contraband tobacco. The mundane exterior hides extraordinary contents — 346 Mesopotamian clay stamps thought to date from Iraq’s Sumerian civilisation, ... They were seized on April 9, ..." "Philippe Delanghe, Programme Specialist for Culture at Unesco’s Iraq office in Amman, said that US satellite pictures studied at a meeting of concerned countries and agencies in Paris last week confirmed that organised gangs were behind some of the looting. The pictures showed holes in the ground dug by bulldozers, with vehicles waiting alongside to receive artefacts." "But the intercepted artefacts are probably a fraction of what is being plundered. Chiara Dezzi-Bardeschi, the head of Unesco’s International Committee for the Safeguard of Iraq’s Cultural Heritage, said that nobody knew the extent of the thefts. ... Lawlessness and poor communications also hinder a full assessment of the damage. Dr Abdul Aziz Hameed, the chairman of Iraq’s State Board of Antiquities and Heritage, ... said that of 15,000 artefacts looted from the National Museum after the US invasion 3,627 pieces had been recovered inside the country, ... A further 3,156 items from the museum and other looted sites were being kept safe in Jordan, America, Italy, Syria, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, Dr Hameed said. 'We hope the Iranians will give more assistance to us to stop smuggling Iraqi antiquities through the Iranian border.'"

    Figure: "Heritage sites in Iraq"

  • "Looting Patterns in Northern Dhi Qar. Part 1: Curious Proximities," in Iraq Museum International, online, July 2005

    Photo 1: "Aerial photos recently published in the media make looted sites look like 'lunar landscapes' in the middle of nowhere. We looked at satellite imagery for this sample 190-square-mile area midway between An Nasiriyah and Al Kut, and found 64 sites that showed evidence of illegal archaeological probing and digging. The bigger picture, viewed screen-by-screen from a virtual altitude of 1500 feet, shows that these sites are most certainly not in the middle of nowhere, and suggests that to stop the looting will require more than any number of armed patrols.  Image ©2005 DigitalGlobe, Google and Iraq Museum International."

    Photo 2: "Site 1 (View 1), 31°55'22.39" N 45°55'31.62" E - Cropped tightly, this view of a site further north has the same isolated look of the landscapes published by CNN and the BBC."

    Photo 3: "Site 1 (View 2) - However, a wider view of the same location shows that the edge of the pitted 5.5-acre site is actually only about 50 feet from a group of houses."

    Photo 4: "Site 1 (View 3) - In fact, over a dozen buildings are within a quarter-mile radius from the center of the site. Also note the faint outlines, possibly of ancient structures, in the lower right portion of the image."

    Photo 5: "Within a half-mile radius from the center of Site 1 are 2 more sites, and a 4th is located only a mile away."

    Photo 6: "Most of these 8 sites are within a 2-mile radius from the center of the largest town in our sample area. Site 4, one of the largest, is only a half-mile from the edge of town." [el-Fajr is indeed a notorious looters nest]
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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).