The Iraq War & Archaeology
Reviewed Articles Archive Six: Second 1/2 of June 2003

This is the sixth 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. Schulz and B. Zand, "Semiramis im Blitzgewitter. Antikencoup in Bagdad: Das US-Oberkommando will der Weltpresse den verschollen geglaubten 'Schatz der Königinnen von Nimrud' präsentieren - 57 Kilogramm pures Gold aus Assyrien. Die Herrscherinnen-Skelette werden derweil in Göttingen untersucht," in Der Spiegel (Germany), June 30, 2003: the skeletons of the Neo-Assyrian noble ladies excavated undisturbed in the 1980s in Nimrud were brought to Göttingen for study in 1997; together with the known golden jewelry heretofore unseen silver artifacts from a 4th tomb as well as 2 winged human-headed bulls (nick-named "Baby Colossi") will be on display this Thursday; but is this a good idea, this exhibition, considering the insecurity in Baghdad?  Dr. Sommerfeld says it's just a PR stunt; after the 1st inventory has been taken, 10,000 artifacts are missing from the storage rooms; Dr. Peter Miglus (U. of Heidelberg) says that at Isin looters are digging pits of 10 meters deep with rotary-bucket excavators; the underground vaults of the Central Bank were flooded when looters tried to open the vault doors with RPGs and set off the sprinklers; the gold show was Paul Bremer's idea to try to get some good press for a change; the director of the Dept. of Antiquities, Jaber Khalil Ibrahim, will soon be let go and replaced by Donny George [this is the 1st I hear of this!]; no matter, it's good that the pieces will finally be seen in public; good overview of the unexplained issues surrounding the Nimrud tombs: some at least maybe hasty reburials just before the Persian-Median enemy destroyed the capital in 612 BC?
Photo 1: "DEPARTMENT OF ANTIQUITIES AND HERITAGES BAGHDAD/ RÖMISCH-GERMANISCHES ZENTRALMUSEUM - Verzierter Henkel einer Kanne aus Gruft 3" [decorated handle of a pitcher from Tomb 3]

Photo 2: "Reproduktion: Thomas Grabka - Gefäße aus Gruft 2" [vessels from Tomb 2]

Photo 3: "Reproduktion: Thomas Grabka - Krone der unbekannten Königin aus Gruft 3" [crown of the unknown queen of Tomb 3]

Photo 4: "DEPARTMENT OF ANTIQUITIES AND HERITAGES BAGHDAD / RÖMISCH-GERMANISCHES ZENTRALMUSEUM - Armreif mit Türkis-, Malachit- und Lapislazuli-Einlagen (Gruft 2)" [bracelet inlaid with turquoise, malachite and lapis lazuli (Tomb 2)]

Photo 5: "Reproduktion: Thomas Grabka - Opferschale (Gruft 3)" [sacrificial bowl (Tomb 3)]

Photo 6: "Reproduktion: Thomas Grabka - Armringe (Gruft 2)" [arm bands (Tomb 2)]

Fig. 7: "DER SPIEGEL - Weltmacht am Tigris: Assyriens Ausdehnung im 7. Jh. vor Christus" [World power on the Tigris: the expansion of Assyria in the 7th cent. BC]

Photo 8: "Schmuckplatte mit Palmenemblem aus Nimrud: Gold-Show als PR-Aktion" [jewelry plaque with palm emblem from Nimrud: gold show as PR event]

Photo 9: "Ben Behnke - Paläopathologe Schultz: Lag in der Gruft Hirnmasse der Königin?" [paleopathologist Schultz: was there brain mass left in the tomb of the queen?]

Photo 10: "AP - Museumseingang in Bagdad (mit Einschussloch über dem Portal): Preziosen unter Panzerschutz" [Museum entrance in Baghdad (with hole shot through above the portal): precious things under protection of tanks]

Photo: "© Scala, Musée du Louvre / RMN - Une statue sumérienne en albâtre (vers 2400 av. J.-C.), de la collection du Musée archéologique de Bagdad et une tablette d'argile gravée de caractères cunéiformes, (IIe millénaire av. J.-C.)." [Alabaster Sumerian sculpture (ca. 2,400 BC) from the collection of the archaeological Museum in Baghdad, and a clay tablet inscribed with cuneiform characters (2nd mill. BC)]

  • M. Memmott, "Iraqi Museum to Repair Broken 5,000-Year-Old Vase," in USA Today, June 17, 2003: "At first glance, it appears to have been seriously damaged. It is in pieces — one large section and a half dozen or more smaller ones. But Ahmed Kamel, the museum's acting director general, said the vase is in no worse shape than when it was discovered by German archaeologists in 1940, ... 'It was in pieces then, and we restored it,' he said. 'Now the looters have broken it again, but it can be repaired.'" "In fact, Kamel said, 'less than 1,000 things are missing or were damaged.' [how can he possibly give such a low number?!?  I hope he's a better judge of the condition of the vase] ... Nonetheless, [Dr. MacGuire] Gibson, who ... is in contact with U.S. Customs officials on recovery efforts, said the number of missing or destroyed items is much higher. As of Friday, 'the full tally by U.S. Customs officials is 6,000 items — and growing,' he said."
Photo: "The 3-foot-tall, Warka Vase is in pieces after being stolen during looting. By Michael Madrid, USA TODAY" [1-21-04: an error seems to have crept in here, I have good reason to believe that the photo was taken by Dr. Zainab Bahrani]

  • C. Reichel, "Re: Fwd: Re: [ANE] Warka Vase Found But Damaged?," in Iraqcrisis, online, June 16, 2003: "As you can see, the top register [is] as well as the base are both
    missing. Currently I have no further information on this than what you can see in this photo. Harriet Martin's message from Friday suggests that at least some or all of the broken missing pieces may be accounted for, but the [vase] was certainly [vase] not returned 'undamaged'."
Photo 1: "n.b.: the black-and-white photo of the vase has been taken from E. Strommenger's F=FCnf [sic] Jahrtausende Mesopotamien (1962. Munich: Hirmer Verlag). See for proper citation and copyright information"

Photo 2: "Warka Vase as recovered (6/12/03)   -  •  copyright for image :  (via McGuire Gibson; source withheld upon request)"

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).