Thursday, 26 January 2017

More on Nineveh Antiquities Stash

More information is emerging about the antiquities stash found in an Islamic State leader’s house during the operation to drive ISIL out of Mosul (Josie Ensor, 'Priceless' ancient artefacts found hidden in Isil commander's house in Mosul Telegraph 26th January 2017).
The discovery was made in the Az-Zirai neighbourhood in eastern Mosul, which the special forces troops recently recaptured from Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil). Photographs released by the National Security Service on Thursday show more than a dozen clay pots, a handful of large vases, “Palace Ware” pottery and a hand mill, among other smaller pieces.[...] they were almost certainly dug up from the nearby Nineveh Ruins site as well as Nimrud - the Assyrian Empire’s ancient capital - which was under the control of Isil militants for two years until the site was liberated in November.[...] “During a tour of homes in the former Christian area of Mosul, the army received a tip off from a local resident,” Talib al-Maa’mari, an Iraqi parliment member, told reporters. “When the special forces searched this one house, which was being used by an ISIS emir, we were surprised to find many priceless artefacts. [...] Isil documents found in the abandoned house show the Islamist group kept a record of each of the items, along with an estimated price each relic could reach. The presumption is the jihadists intended to sell the pieces but were interrupted before they could do so.
While I remain highly sceptical of the material produced by the Americans after their botched raid to capture Abu Sayyaf in May last year, this find does look more likely to be evidence for some ISIL -controlled antiquities trading.

Vignette" Az Ziraj is just to the SW of the ancient site of Nineveh in eastern Mosul (Google Earth)
Hat tip Dorothy King 

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