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