The Iraq War & Archaeology
Reviewed Articles Archive Sixty-Five: First 1/2 of December 2005

This is the sixty-fifth 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.

  • "Osthoff-Entführung. Zentralrat der Muslime für gemeinsame Delegation," in Der Spiegel (Germany), December 12, 2005:  Nadeem Elyas, president of the Zentralrat der Muslime [in Deutschland], said he wants a joint delegation of the German government and his organization to go to Iraq to plead for Susanne Osthoff's release; he reiterated his offer to exchange himself for SO; the president of the Council of the Evangelische Kirche in Deutschland (EKD), Berlin bishop Wolfgang Huber, called for solidarity with SO on Monday

    Photo: "DDP.  Mahnwache: Susanne Osthoffs Schwester Anja gestern in Ebersberg" [Vigil: SO's sister Anja yesterday in Ebersberg]
  • "«Es geht um Mitmenschlichkeit» 300 Menschen bilden Lichtermeer für entführte Susanne Osthoff und setzen ein Zeichen gegen Terrorismus," in Mittelbayerische Zeitung (Germany), December 12, 2005: Bavarian state Minister of Social Affairs Christa Stewens (CSU, Christian-democrats) spoke at the vigil in Ebersberg; local Catholic, Protestant, Arab Muslim clerics and a representative of the Turkish community prayed and spoke; in his speech, Osthoff's friend and federal MP Ewald Schurer (SPD, social-democrats) countered the sometimes-heard argument that it was her own fault (she shouldn't have been in Iraq anymore) by reminding that many people who have worked for the cause of good have at times put their own lives at risk, so did she by helping the women and children of Iraq in their hour of need with medicine and supplies

    Photo: [no caption; probably Osthoff's mother in the center of the photo]
  • "Geiseldrama im Irak. USA wollen bei Suche nach Susanne Osthoff helfen," in Tagesschau (ARD; Germany), December 6, 2005: the Foreign Ministry spokesman said that he didn't wish to speculate publicly about the kidnappers and their motives in order not to endanger their efforts to contact them; last summer, the German Foreign Office did sponsor an archaeological initiative which Osthoff co-ordinated for the Iraqi side but which was put on hold soon after the start

    Photo: "Archäologin Susanne Osthoff"
  • "Muslime demonstrieren für Freilassung Osthoffs. 'Nein zum Terrorismus - Ja zum Frieden,'" in Hessen Aktuel (Hessischer Rundfunk; Germany), with online video, December 4, 2005: a demonstration to demand the release of Susanne Osthoff was organized by Abdelkader Rafoud, Adviser for Foreigners of the city of Offenbach; about 150 muslims from the city's 7 mosques joined the protest; Offenbach has one of the largest muslim populations in Germany

    Photo 1: "Haben die Freiheit von Susanne Osthoff gefordert .... (Bild: dpa)" [demanded the release of SO]

    Photo 2: "... rund 100 Menschen in Offenbach. (Bild: dpa)" [about 100 people in Offenbach; I guess HR and dpa don't agree on the number of people attending...]

  • "Dramatischer Appell an die Entführer: Laßt sie frei! Deutschland bangt um die Archäologin Susanne Osthoff," in Bild.T-Online (Germany), online, December 3, 2005: German federal president Horst Köhler called for her release

    Photo: "1988 gehörte Susanne Osthoff zu einem Team deutscher Archäologen in Isin südlich von Bagdad. Das Foto zeigt die damals 26jährige Studentin beim Vermessen einer Fundstelle" [in 1988, SO was part of a team of German archaeologists in Isin, south of Baghdad. the picture shows the then-26-years-old student while measuring a find spot]
  • R. Atwood, "Archaeologist Held Hostage," in Archaeology, online, December 2, 2005: "In May 2003, Osthoff accompanied me and later other journalists to the ruins of the Sumerian city of Isin [modern Ishan Bakhriyyat] to witness first-hand its demolition by hundreds of looters, leading to the first of many reports in the media on the plunder of Iraqi sites to feed the antiquities trade." [see Atwood September-October 2003]; "She has played a crucial, and largely unheralded, part in bringing to the world's attention the devastation of Iraq's cultural heritage in the last three years. ... Osthoff ... had worked there as a graduate student with the archaeologist Barthel Hrouda of the Ludwig-Maximilians University in Munich until 1990, when most archaeology ceased in Iraq because of Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait. As she led me through the site's pockmarked mounds that day in 2003, she pointed down pits and trenches which she had helped excavate and out of which filthy, wild-eyed looters now crawled. They came running up to us, offering us cylinder seals, cuneiform tablets, and a votive plaque for sale, thinking we were buyers. Osthoff was in despair, looking as if she might cry. Unlike most foreigners in Iraq, Osthoff was never known to use a bodyguard, said archaeologist Michael Müller-Karpe of the Romische-Germanische Central Museum in Mainz. He and Osthoff had planned to return to Isin in October 2004 but decided it was too dangerous, after Osthoff's former husband, an Iraqi, advised them against it. ... Osthoff then planned to go to Isin alone, disguised as a native Iraqi woman in a black veil, he said. Initial news reports from Iraq did not suggest a link between her work to document the looting and her kidnapping. Osthoff had delivered medical supplies on behalf of a German humanitarian agency to Iraq for years. She also brought funds from Germany for the repair of a damaged church in the northern city of Mosul, according to associates." [other reports call it a caravanserai? maybe it changed function through time?]; "In June 2004, American forces ... told her they had learned of credible threats to her safety and advised her to leave Iraq, said archaeologist McGuire Gibson of the University of Chicago. She left Iraq and told Gibson about the threats on a flight they happened to share from Amman to Munich. ... But she returned, although it is not clear whether on a humanitarian run, to conduct another autopsy of a looted ancient site, or some other cultural mission. 'Apparently she thought it was safe to go back.'"

Photo: "Archaeologist Susanne Osthoff holding a looted cylinder seal at Isin, Iraq, in 2003, with her escort at right and looters behind. (Photograph by Roger Atwood)"

"Those who wish to express their support for Osthoff and demand the immediate release of her and her driver can sign an online petition on the website of SAFE (Saving Antiquities For Everyone)." [I wholeheartedly support this of course!!!]

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).