Iraq's MoD: More than 100 artefacts dated back to Assyrian and Islamic periods were found in an ISIL leader's house in eastern Mosul (hat tip Sinan Salaheddin)
Photos from here.
The second one down can clearly be seen that the pot is still covered in earth, making this unlikely to be a theft from a museum storeroom but more likely to be from recent diggings, the plastic crates and cardboard box suggest that this was a collecting point for objects brought in bulk by diggers and/or middlemen, rather than the private collection of an ISIL officer. At first sight, if confirmed, a pretty convincing smoking gun.
Antiquities trade lobbyists will now come up with some explanation where these pots and other objects were destined for. Ms Fitz Gibbon will no doubt be pricing them up and saying that 'they are not worth anything much on the market', so not worth bothering about... That' I feel, is the wrong approach for US collectors to be seen to to be taking.
Blimey, now I see Ms Yates is totting up the 'market value'. Don't we think that maybe this stuff left boxed in a courtyard is what might be left over after other commercial exchanges, like what's left on the vegetable market stall at the end of the day? Eastern Mosul was about to fall, and I would imagine the bloke who had this was pretty desperate to monetise the best bits, in case he had to (had the opportunity to flee), but I would imagine that in a city about to collapse nobody would be that much interested in buying bulky boxloads or complete or restorable pots. I really do not think that the criminologist should be so dismissive of this find until we have more information.
UPDATE, UPDATE 26th Jan 2017
Ancient Assyrian Artifacts Discovered in Raid on Islamic State Safe House in Mosul 25 January 2017
Amid ongoing security operations to clear the recently captured Left Bank of Mosul on January 25, over 100 ancient Assyrian and early Islamic artifacts were discovered in the home of an Islamic State official in the city’s Az-Zirai neighborhood. Information regarding many of the items found was found in a series of extensive official Islamic State documents inside the home.[...] Credit: YouTube/Al-Mawsleya via Storyful via StoryfulVideo here.