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The Rape of MesopotamiaBehind the Looting of the Iraq Museum$
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Lawrence Rothfield

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780226729459

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226729435.001.0001

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Cultural Heritage Protection in Iraq before 2003: The Long View

Cultural Heritage Protection in Iraq before 2003: The Long View

(p.4) One Cultural Heritage Protection in Iraq before 2003: The Long View
The Rape of Mesopotamia
University of Chicago Press

This chapter discusses the protection of cultural heritage in Iraq before the 2003 invasion. The first indigenous anti-looting efforts stemmed from sheer greed, and laws were passed during the mid-nineteenth century requiring official permission for archaeological excavations. The chapter suggests that the Ottomans' protection of cultural heritage was relatively weak, under a regime designed primarily to deter foreigners rather than to secure sites from indigenous looting. It also mentions that it was only at the end of World War I that protection of antiquities from looting emerged as an administrative problem.

Keywords:   cultural heritage, Iraq, anti-looting efforts, archaeological excavations, Ottomans, indigenous looting, protection of antiquities

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