“Patterns of looting in southern Iraq” by Elizabeth Stone

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Elizabeth Stone“The archaeological sites of Iraq, precious for their bearing on human history, became especially vulnerable to looters during two wars. Much of the looting evidence has been anecdotal up to now, but here satellite imagery has been employed to show which sites were looted and when. Sites of all sizes from late Uruk to early Islamic were targeted for their high value artifacts, particularly just before and after the 2003 invasion.”

Archaeologist Elizabeth Stone comments in her much-discussed article adapted on the SAFE website from the journal Antiquity. that the “total area looted was many times greater than all the archaeological investigations ever conducted in southern Iraq and must have yielded tablets, coins, cylinder seals, statues, terracottas, bronzes and other objects in the hundreds of thousands.”

Read the adaptation and view satellite images in a video of the presentation delivered by Dr. Elizabeth Stone at the symposium “Looting the Cradle of Civilization: The Loss of History in Iraq,” held at The Oriental Institute, University of Chicago, April 12, 2008.

(Photo: Stony Brook University)

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