The Iraq War & Archaeology
Reviewed Articles Archive Fourteen: Second 1/2 of October 2003

This is the fourteenth 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.

  • L. Smallman, "History... Another Victim of Occupation," in Aljazeera (Qatar), October 23, 2003: "Minister of Culture Mufid al-Jazairi told ... 'We have not lost hope. Two or three objects are turning up each day. Just yesterday a bag packed with 3000 year old pottery wrapped in newspapers was thrown over the museum's three metre high security wall – and they didn't break.' Unwrapping some tissue paper, the minister showed me the day's find – an ancient seal yet to be dated." "One last unpleasant surprise may await Iraqis who queue up to see the country's huge cultural heritage – there are plans to charge an entrance fee."
Photo: "The National Museum will not be opened until December 2004" [somebody please fix that hole!]

  • R. Finn, "To Preserve and Protect Iraq's Treasure Trove," in The New York Times, October 22, 2003: "Stoney Brook, N.Y.  On this state university campus, she is just another brainy professor with an impressive résumé, a laboratory crammed with old shards of rock, bone and crockery, and a fondness for cooking and hiking. Harmless stuff. Send her to Iraq and she morphs into academia's version of a superhero, minus the cape; Indiana Jones without the romantic complications. ... On a trip to Iraq in May to survey the destructive handiwork of excavation-site looters, her Marine escort persuaded her to turn back at Larsa, just north of Ur. Maybe she wasn't worried about getting ambushed, but the soldiers were." "She estimates 10 percent of [the National Museum's] collection, some of it supplied by her fieldwork, was stolen or destroyed." [I sure hope my esteemed colleague's estimate turns out to be overstated]; "So she is thrilled, not apprehensive, that the State University at Stony Brook has been awarded a $4.1 million grant, renewable over two years, from the United States Agency for International Development to support reconstruction efforts focusing on archaeology and environmental health at Iraqi universities. In addition, she will select six Iraqi students to come to Stony Brook next June and pursue master's degrees in archaeology, and Stony Brook's library will create a digital library of materials related to Mesopotamian culture that can be accessed by Iraqi researchers. 'It totally changes my life for the next three years,' she says. She and the project's other leader, Dr. Wajdy Hailoo, a professor of preventive medicine, leave for Iraq on Nov. 2."; she moved from Oxford, England, when she was 14; "... the continued pillaging of the Mesopotamian excavation sites. They were dug up, she says, like so many potato fields. Scrap her Nov. 2 mission to Iraq in light of persistent hostilities there? Never! If she and her colleagues, including her spouse, Paul E. Zimansky, a professor at Boston University and a perennial field partner on various Middle East projects like this one, don't protect the artifacts, who will? Not the Marines."
Photo: "Ed Betz for The New York Times. 'I guess I think life isn't worth living if you don't take some risks for the things you believe in.' DR. ELIZABETH C. STONE"

  • D. Vergano, "Uneasy Guard of Iraq's Past," in USA Today, October 21, 2003: "Visiting U.S. universities to drum up support for renewed research collaboration, [Dr. Donny George] Youkhanna spoke recently with USA TODAY ... He speaks reluctantly at first about the museum's hardships of the past year. 'I cannot speak for just myself. It was a real hard time for everyone,' he says finally. 'Very hard times.'" "In Baghdad, about 11,000 museum objects 2,000 to 6,000 years old remain missing, and the number is expected to climb as assessments continue."

Photo: "Donny George Youkhanna looks at artifacts at the University of Chicago. By Scott Olson, Getty Images"

  • A. Lowings, "Lyre of Ur Reconstruction Project," in Harpa (Switzerland), online, 8 (October 20, 2003): "Our group this month announced that it will remake an authentic playable version of the famous Lyre of Ur shown [to the right].  This has not been done before now.  All existing harps and lyres held in Pennsylvania, Baghdad and London museums are, in fact, unplayable models reconstructed from bits, distributed after Leonard Woolley's excavations in the 1930's.  The bull-headed lyre held in the museum of Baghdad, has been well featured in the world's press, as a result of events in Iraq.  Much interest has been shown in hearing a remade and playable lyre. ... We envisage asking only the very best craftsmen to assist in carrying out the work.  It is an important part of this project that the workmanship must reflect the antiquity and importance of this famous lyre.  We have put together a team of advisors and makers who are keen to take part in the work.  We can also rely on the help of the British Museum.  It is anticipated that part of the work should be done by Iraqis to reflect their connection to its origin. ... we have already been invited in principle to perform with this lyre next year in New Mexico USA, Austria (Vienna and Gmunden), at the British Museum in London and for fund-contributors in Dubai."

Photo: "Queen's Lyre of Ur. Recreated in the Baghdad museum from pieces found in 1929 (vandalised 2003)"

  • Photo: "Sun Oct 19, [2003,] 3:35 PM ET - A US soldier from the 1st Division, 2nd Bridage, Texas, strolls the corridor during a visit to the Iraq ( news -web sites ) Museum in Baghdad. (AFP/File/Thomas Coex)" [Yahoo! News]

All photos: "Copyright Koninklijke Marine"

Photo 1: "Hier de tempel van  Uruk. Het geheel is nu bedekt met zand. Vanaf 1850 na Christus zijn ze hier bezig met archeologische opgravingen, maar volgens de locals is het meeste gedaan door de Duitsers in de Eerste en Tweede Wereldoorlog." [Here you see the temple of Uruk. The complex is now covered with sand. Archaeological excavations have been ongoing since 1850 AD but according to the locals most were done by the Germans during World Wars I and II] [wrong: the World War years were not when excavations reached a zenith at Warka]

Photo 2: "Op de voorgrond kiepwagens voor de treinrails uit de Eerste Wereldoorlog die de Duitsers gebruikten tijdens de afgravingen. Op de achtergrond de tempel van Uruk." [In front, dump wagons for the rail tracks from World War I which the Germans used for the uncovering of the mound. In the back, the temple of Uruk] [not really a temple: it's the ziggurat which is more a platform/tower pedestal for a temple]

Photo 3: "Bovenop de tempel van links naar rechts: Kpl. Van Steenbergen, Sgt Corpeleijn, de beheerder. Knielend tolk-chauffeur marinier Dalal." [on top of the temple, from left to right: ...]

Photo 4: "Na ons vertrek uit Uruk, zijn we nog naar een oude graftombe geweest. Deze is uit 1400 na Christus. Begonnen als een graftombe, daarna uitgebouwd tot een hunnebed en uiteindelijk geëindigd als een berg van ongeveer 30 meter hoog." [After leaving Uruk we visited an ancient tomb. This one is from 1400 AD.  It started as a regular tomb, then was transformed into a megalithic grave site and ended up as a hill of about 30 meters high]

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).