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The Rape of Mesopotamia – Behind the Looting of the Iraq Museum - Chicago Scholarship Online
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The Rape of Mesopotamia: Behind the Looting of the Iraq Museum

Lawrence Rothfield


On April 10, 2003, as the world watched a statue of Saddam Hussein come crashing down in the heart of Baghdad, a mob of looters attacked the Iraq National Museum. Despite the presence of an American tank unit, the pillaging went unchecked, and more than 15,000 artifacts—some of the oldest evidence of human culture—disappeared into the shadowy worldwide market in illicit antiquities. In the five years since that day, the losses have only mounted, with gangs digging up roughly half a million artifacts that had previously been unexcavated; the loss to our shared human heritage is incalculable. Th ... More

Keywords: Mesopotamia, Iraq, Iraq National Museum, looting, artifacts, cultural heritage, thievery, pillaging, Baghdad

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2009 Print ISBN-13: 9780226729459
Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013 DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226729435.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Lawrence Rothfield, author