The Iraq War & Archaeology
Reviewed Articles Archive Forty-Eight: Second 1/2 of March 2005

This is the forty-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.

  • M. Bailey, "Iraq’s greatest treasure starts world tour in October. A Danish firm has organised the travelling show which will raise over $10 million for the National Museum in Baghdad," in The Art Newspaper (UK), [March 31, 2005]: "The five-year tour is being organised by United Exhibits Group, a Copenhagen-based company. Despite security risks, UEG president Teit Ritzau and his team have visited Baghdad four times since Saddam Hussein’s fall. The preliminary agreement for the tour was reached last year, with the formalities being concluded with Minister of Culture Mufid Al-Jazaeri (The Art Newspaper, No. 145, March 2004, pp. 1, 3)[Kaufman February 27, 2004]. During the past few weeks the Nimrud treasures have been moved from the bank vault to a high-security store at the National Museum. Initially there was considerable concern about the treasures leaving Iraq, particularly to be seen in countries such as the US and Britain which had led the military action. To some extent these worries have been allayed by plans to hold a short-term display of the gold at the National Museum in Baghdad before it leaves the country. The fact that UEG is Danish rather than British or American has also helped." "The [Nimrud] find also included delicately carved ivories. ... the vaults were flooded with sewage-contaminated water, causing considerable damage to the ivories, although not to the gold. The ivories suffered badly from fragmentation and mould, as revealed by The Art Newspaper (April 2004, p.27 [Bailey April 8, 2004]; May 2004, p.7). Specialists who have seen them recently say that our earlier reports were not exaggerated, and the damage is 'very severe'. The hope is that it will be possible to exhibit some of the ivories which are in better condition, but these still require conservation. In addition, an important selection of stone and ceramic objects will be included." "Originally 'The gold of Nimrud' was to open in Berlin, but this has now been changed, [why???] and another inaugural venue is currently being finalised. Along with Paris and Rome, the show will almost certainly come to London. Preliminary discussions were held with the British Museum, but scheduling and costs meant that it was unable to proceed [hmm...] and the Royal Academy has been approached over the project. There will be four or five North American stops, probably including New York and Washington, as well as a venue in California and one or two other cities. Two or three Far Eastern venues, presumably including Tokyo, will also be on the tour. Money will be raised from a combination of a fixed fee and a percentage of ticket sales, ... United Exhibits Group and the Iraqi Ministry of Culture have now jointly formed a new institution, the Iraq Cultural Project Organisation. Based in Baghdad, it is headed by Dafir Mann, a Baghdad-born Danish citizen. It will provide technical support for the exhibition and also for the rehabilitation of the museum. The exhibition’s lead curator is Professor Morgens Trolle Larsen, of Copenhagen University. Meanwhile, the National Museum is to reopen one room of its building in July, to display a small part of the Nimrud gold in the Assyrian gallery. ... The show is to run for two months, ... At this point the museum will close again, for major building work." [I wonder whether a whole US batallion will have to be assigned to the Museum for the duration of this exhibit?; see also Verhoeven April 4, 2005]

Photo: [no other caption than what's included]
  • Photo: "Wed Mar 23, 2:33 PM ET - The battle-damaged Iraqi National Museum remains closed in Baghdad, Iraq ... Wednesday, March 23, 2005. Known for centuries as one of the most beautiful cities in the world, Baghdad's landscape has been marred by massive concrete blast walls, barbed wire, steel barricades, sandbags and crumbling buildings pockmarked by bullet holes or ransacked by explosions. (AP Photo/Samir Mizban)" (Yahoo! News)[glad to see somebody finally fixed that unseemly hole shot through above the entry-gate arch...]
  • "Iraq Training Initiative," in Conservation. The Getty Conservation Institute Newsletter, 20, 1 (Spring 2005): "Last fall, the Iraq Cultural Heritage Conservation Initiative of the Getty Conservation Institute and the World Monuments Fund (WMF) completed its first training course in the compilation of site data and the inventory and rapid assessment of archaeological and historic sites. The course, attended by 16 employees of the State Board of Antiquities and Heritage (SBAH) of Iraq, was held in Amman, Jordan, November 19–December 19, 2004. Fieldwork was conducted at the Amman Citadel, the Umm er-Rasas World Heritage Site, and at other historic and archaeological sites in the Amman area, thanks to the generous assistance of the Department of Antiquities of Jordan." [see also Agnew and Palumbo Fall 2005]

    Photo: "Training in archeological site typology and feature description led by Dr. Zeidan Kafafi of Yarmouk University at the Temple of Hercules at the Amman Citadel, Jordan. Photo: Mario Santana Quintero."

  • C. Lee, "Base workers make historical discovery," in KRAB Kronicle (Iraq), March 19, 2005: "... recently when several third country nationals made a discovery while digging a drainage ditch around the perimeter of the dining facility. Strewn across the area were unusual pieces of clay the workers knew had to be noteworthy. ... Second Lt. Luke Stumme of the 506th E[xpeditionary] C[ivil] E[ngineer] S[quadron] ... went out to investigate the find. 'We went out to the site and saw all these pieces scattered all over the area,' he said. 'We immediately put tarps over the area to protect it after we sifted through and gathered up what we could. ... The engineers then turned the artifacts over to the 506th AEG legal office for inventory and safe keeping.  Capt. Mark Nackman of the 506th AEG legal office, said it took several days for his office to photograph and document all the pieces that were turned over. However, just like the others, the captain was unsure as to what exactly had been turned in. ... That is when the Army Civil Affairs team made arrangements for Shaida Mohammed Amin, Kirkuk Museum director of heritage, to visit ... [he] determined the pieces of clay, bone shards and teeth were  'an amazing discovery.' While he was hesitant to put an exact year of date on the pieces, Mr. Amin estimated that some of them could have been up to 5,000 years old." "Plans are in place to protect the area of the discovery so more excavating can be accomplished." [see also The Times-News March 23, 2005 and Ospina January 26, 2006]

    Photo: "Kirkuk Air Base, Iraq -- Tech. Sgt. John Price of the 506th Air Expeditionary Group legal office hands a large piece of clay to Shaida Mohammed Amin, Kirkik Museum director of heritage. The object is estimated to be up to 5,000 years old.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Matt Lohr)"

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).