Elizabeth Simpson discussed the state of Iraqi archaeological sites and the trade in stolen antiquities at a lecture SAFE co-sponsored with the New York Council for the Humanities.

SAFE presented Professor Elizabeth Simpson in a discussion of the state of Iraqi archaeological sites and the trade in stolen antiquities.

Elizabeth Simpson

Professor Elizabeth Simpson reconstructing the inlaid table from Tumulus MM at Gordion for display in the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations, Ankara

Professor Simpson is a specialist in the arts and technology of the ancient Near East and Mediterranean and has an active interest in the protection of cultural property and archaeological sites. In 1995, she organized the ground-breaking symposium, “The Spoils of War–World War II and Its Aftermath: The Loss, Reappearance, and Recovery of Cultural Property,” and, in 2005, a conference on Iraq for the Archaeological Institute of America, “Iraq 2004-2005: Museums, Antiquities, and Archaeological Sites.”

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She is a professor at the Bard Graduate Center for Studies in the Decorative Arts in New York City. She is also the director of the project to restore and reconstruct the ancient wooden furniture of King Midas and his family, which was excavated by the University of Pennsylvania in the 1950s at the site of Gordion, Turkey. In this capacity, she is a research associate in the Mediterranean Section of the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology in Philadelphia. Professor Simpson is the recipient of many grants and awards and the author of numerous publications.

Following the lecture, there was a dinner with Professor Simpson at a local restaurant.

The lecture, sponsored by SAFE and the New York Council for the Humanities, was free to the public.

As most of these objects are looted from sites, they have not been officially recorded, and there is usually no way of proving when or where they were acquired. Most will therefore never make their way back to Iraq.

Elizabeth Simpson