Sunday, 15 March 2015

Junk Journalism from the Times: "Assyrian tablets from Tomb of Jonah Recovered in Europe"?

The Times reports:
Assyrian tablets looted from the tomb of the Prophet Jonah before it was blown up by Isis in July were later recovered in Europe but such successes are rare. 
This is, I think, not true. It seems to be a garbled form of a claim made back last year by Qais Hussein Rasheed about "tablets" appearing on the European antiquities market made at UNESCO which itself appears to have referred to Assyrian palace reliefs from kalhu/Nimrud and, I felt, was a report of doubtful reliability from the start ('UNESCO on What is happening at Nimrud' PACHI Sunday, 5 October 2014). The tomb of Jonah was at Nabi Yunus at Nineveh, a differnt site entirely. Can we expect to see any improvement in journalistic standards when reporting on ISIL or is following the line of American propaganda the name of the game?

 Hugh Tomlinson, 'Antiquities looted by Islamic State turn up on eBay' The Times, March 14 2015.

UPDATE 15.03.15:
Sam Hardy has been following the destruction of the monuments theme (outside the main focus of this blog) with his usual attention to detail and I am grateful to him for pointing out that Tomlinson may have got the confused information about the Tomb of Jonah tablets from here: He also suggests some of the problems with this article may be more due to the editing rather than the journalism underlying it. Sorry, but the result however is still junk journalism when we expect more of 'The Times'.

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