The Iraq War & Archaeology
Reviewed Articles Archive Twenty-Eight: Second 1/2 of May 2004

This is the twenty-eighth 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.

  • S. Kimmons, "2nd BCT helps preserve archeological sites," in Hawaii Army Weekly, May 28, 2004: "... when Soldiers of Company B, 65th Engineer Battalion dug into a hill while gathering dirt for Hesco defense barriers in late April. Capt. Nicholas Gianforti, an intelligence officer for the 2nd Brigade Combat Team and an anthropology major from St. John Fisher University, was one of the first to respond to the archeological site after its discovery. ... The hill, indeed, was an archeological site and so were nearby hills in the vicinity of the container village on the west side of the base." [of course, in Iraq, any hills in the flood plain should be assumed to be archaeological unless proven otherwise]; "Throughout the month of May, Co. B, 451st Civil Affairs Battalion, a Reservist unit out of Pasadena, Texas, attached to the 2nd BCT while in Iraq has been inviting local archeologists from the Museum of Antiquities [sic; State Board of Antiquities and Heritage (SBAH)] on base to identify artifacts and other potential archeological sites." "1st Lt. Wes Boyer, Spc. Joel Hilborn and Spc. Lorie Bright, ... are in charge of assisting the local archeologists. 'Once we found out that this was an archeological site, we wanted to preserve and find out where other ones are because we didn't understand the significance of it,' Boyer said. At first the site was believed to be a grave site but closer examination revealed that its animal bones and pottery were related to an ancient settlement and not a contemporary mass grave, Morton said. Some of the pottery found on base is about 5,000 years old and linked to the Yorghun Tepe or Nuzi people of the Hurrian civilization." "... it is important to safeguard these particular sites on base until the Ministry of Agriculture in Baghdad decides what to do with them, Morton said." [surely, the SBAH would be more appropriate?; actually, they did contact them eventually: Kimmons June 22, 2004]

All photos: "Photo(s) by Spc. Sean Kimmons"

Photo 1: "Ghaib Fadil Karem, director of Ministry of Antiquities in Kirkuk (center left) and Soldiers from Co. B, 451st CA look over ancient pottery pieces found on Kirkuk Air Base May 23."

Photo 2: "Ghaib Fadil Karem, director of the Ministry of Antiquities in Kirkuk, Iraq, points out a few pottery pieces that were discovered on Kirkuk Air Base May 23. Some of the pieces are about 5,000 years old."

  • Ch. Anthony, "Airmen, Iraqis dig up ancient site," in Air Force Link, May 21, 2004: "Iraqi archeologists have determined [Kirkuk] air base has at least one site with artifacts dating back to between 1200 B.C. and 2600 B.C., possibly predating the ancient Assyrians.  Other sites have been identified as potentially containing precious antiquities, but have yet to be excavated." "... in late March when Col. Marcus Beyerle [the 506th Expeditionary Medical Squadron commander] became curious about an area that was being dug up to fill sandbags." "In April, Colonel Beyerle discovered an ancient clay jar that was nearly intact." "A few days later, Maj. Mike Larkin, ... was walking through the site, when he came upon animal bones and shards from clay pots and jars. ... Working with Army Civil Affairs, he brought an Iraqi archeological team to the site May 12. Within minutes of examining the site, more clay shards and a set of small vessels, perhaps shaped from alabaster and probably used to hold medicines, were uncovered. ... Mr. Amin explained that in 1923 an American University archeological team had done some excavations at other 'tels' nearby.  Those discoveries gave credence to theories that the first Kurds had settled in the area. 'But Saddam Hussein denied that Kurds had settled here long ago, because he wanted to remove the Kurds from their ancestral land,' Mr. Amin said.  'Now we are free to tell the truth.'" [politics are immediately intruding here: Kirkuk is contested between Arabs, Kurds and Turkomans; anyway, I think that a direct link between the Kurds of today and any population of northern Iraq in the 2nd millennium BC is tenuous at best]

Photo: "Airmen, Iraqis dig up ancient site  KIRKUK AIR BASE, Iraq -- Maj. Mike Larkin talks with Sheida Muhammad Amin at a recently discovered archeological site here.  Major Larkin is the 506th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron commander, and Mr. Amin is an archeological surveyor for the Kirkuk's department of antiquities.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Maj. Charles Anthony)   Download Full Image" [too bad there's nothing archaeological to be seen clearly in this photo...]

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).