Portable Antiquities Seized in Iraq

Iraqi police announced today the seizure of 39 antiquities discovered hidden near a shrine outside Nasiriyah in Southern Iraq.  These included clay tablets and statues, some of which may date from the 4,000 year-old Sumerian civilization. Are these objects from one of Iraq’s museums?  Were these objects looted from nearby archaeological sites?  If I could speculate on why the objects were hidden near a shrine: it may have been a convenient place to hide these looted objects for sale to visitors to the shrine. 

  1. Katherine Houreld, Iraqi police seize artifacts amid smuggling fears – Washington Times, Associated Press, January 5, 2009.
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