October 06, 2006


Excavations since start of War

The previous post made me wonder: how many archaeological excavations have taken place since the start of the Iraq War in early 2003? This is all I came up with:

Tell el-Sadum, el-Qadisiyyah province: excavated in 2004 by the University of el-Qadisiyyah, el-Diwaniyyah
Zoroastrian Temple close to Jar Ston cave near Duhok, Duhok province (Kurdistan): excavated in 2006 by the Duhok SBAH

In comparison, there were routinely tens of excavations per year in the 1980s, including teams from the US, France, Germany, the UK, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands, Japan, etc. This was reduced severely in the 1990s till in the 2000s before the Iraq War only a handful of purely Iraqi digs still took place. Looting of sites unfortunately followed a complimentary inverse pattern: from at most sporadic in the 1980s, to more and more organized in the 1990s (partly as a result of the impoverishment caused by the embargo) and finally endemic in the 2000s, esp. since the start of the Iraq War.


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