The Iraq War & Archaeology
Reviewed Articles Archive Seventy-One: First 1/2 of March 2006

This is the seventy-first 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.

  • "Militari italiani organizzano corso di specializzazione per guardie archeologiche," in (Italy), online, March 15, 2006: present at a ceremony to celebrate the end of a course for provincial archaeological guards in Nasiriyyah were provincial antiquities inspector Dr. Abdul Amir Hamdani, the rector of the Faculty of History of the University of Nasiriyyah, Dr. Ali el-Safni, Drs. Giovanni Pettinato and Silvia Chiodi of the Progetto museo virtuale di Baghdad, the governor of Dhi Qar, Aziz Kadum Alwan el-Ogheli, and Carabinieri Col. Paolo Maria Ortolani; to date, there are 140 archaeological guards in the province [see also Pagine di Difesa March 16]

    Photo: [no caption; file name: "il_governatore_della_provincia_di_dhi_qar" or "governor of the province of Dhi Qar"; presumably he's the one handing out diploma's]
  • E. Knickmeyer, "The Woman Who Put Iraq on the Map. Gertrude Bell, Resting in Relative Peace," in The Washington Post, March 5, 2006: "Visitors reach the graves of the first Western empire builders in Iraq by first pretending to throw a rock at the graveyard dog. ... the grave keeper's head. The man, dressed in rough, cheap clothes, can't think of where any British lady might be buried in this cemetery full of the remains of British soldiers and their Hindu and Sikh underlings, legions of what turned out to be a transient world empire." "... nostalgia for Bell, and for the stronger hand Britons were seen as wielding during their rule here, ha[s] become something of a fad among Americans. Bell's name pops up often in conversations with U.S. officials, apropos of nothing except a measure of disorder and despair." "At the British cemetery in today's Baghdad, the hundreds of graves of the British empire make searching for her grave futile, and the open metal bars of the cemetery gates make it dangerous. Visitors leave with her grave not found and, ultimately, not too closely sought." [sic transit gloria mundi; even for famed archaeologists and advisers to kings and ministers; interesting article full of irony...; for corrections, see Miller and August March 28]

    Photo: "Gertrude Bell, above [sic; not in the web version], served as Britain's Oriental secretary in Iraq, and complained at the time of Sunni-Shiite conflicts, which to this day bedevil U.S. efforts to create a democracy there. Along with many of her compatriots, Bell is said to be buried in a Baghdad cemetery, right.  Photo Credit: By Omar Fekeiki -- The Washington Post Photo" [the monumental tomb is of the British Lt. Gen. Stanley Maude, the one of the (in)famous "Our armies do not come into your cities and lands as conquerors or enemies, but as liberators" speech]

  • Zeyad, "Blowing Up History," in Healing Iraq (Iraq), online, March 5, 2006: "Governmental sources are reporting that militants have blown up the Abbasid palace north of Samarra. The source blamed the same groups that bombed the Al-Askari shrine over a week ago. The Abbasid palace in Samarra was built by Abbasid caliph Al-Mu'tasim in 836, when he moved his capital from Baghdad to Samarra. It is one of the largest Abbasid era palaces to have survived to this day, in addition to the Abbasid palace in central Baghdad. It is regarded, together with the Grand mosque of Sammara (famous for its spiral minaret) and the Al-Askariyyain shrine (the golden mosque), as one of the most prominent historical landmarks of the city. No further details on the incident were provided, but still, it boggles the mind that such an operation could be carried out twice at the same area in just over a week. Given the historical and cultural value of these palaces and mosques in such a tense area, where a similar attack took place last week, one would think that they would be closely guarded. But why protect buildings in a country where human life has no value anyway? You won't see sectarian riots over this one. It's only an archaeological site, and too much of those have been destroyed or looted over the last three years for people to care anymore. Not even bricks have been spared our misery." [I have not found any mention of this anywhere else so far; 3-9-06: but see maybe Reuters AlertNet March 5?; now confirmed as an unfounded rumor, see George March 13]

    Photo: [no caption]

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).