Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Iraq: Antiquity Smugglers Arrested

In Iraq, al-Zaman news reported on Monday that in the southern Province of Dhiqar, Interior Ministry forces in coordination with the Iraqi army have  arrested two smugglers and confiscated  64 archaeological pieces (including several statues) as well as 114 bronze coins  from different periods in Iraq’s ancient history: 
The province of Dhiqar holds some of the most archaeologically precious excavation mounds in Iraq. Its historical treasures have turned it into a hub for smugglers and illegal diggers. Many of its mounds, some dating to the Sumerian civilization that flourished in southern Iraq more than 5000 years ago, are being ruined by illegal excavators who do not have the proper training or tools. Digging up relics from the Mesopotamian era and selling them on the open market has become a lucrative trade since the 2003-U.S. invasion of Iraq. [...] Illegal excavation is taking place almost everywhere in Iraq due to the country’s rich buried history.
Al Arabiya, 'Iraq’s rich history tempts relic smugglers', October 23, 2012.

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