The cultural treasures of Iraq — the birthplace of writing, codified law, mathematics, medicine and astronomy — are being obliterated as looters take advantage of the country’s bloody chaos.
Fourteen of the world’s leading archaeologists have written to the President and Prime Minister of the country, demanding immediate action to stem the vandalism after seeing photographs of sites left pockmarked by enormous craters.
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The Armchair Archaeologist says: Looting is horrible. It places objects on the “black market” so private collectors can add to their collections but it robs the greater archaeological community from being able to learn more. Once something is removed from the strata it usually compromises the ability to ever contribute to our understanding of that object and the objects that were around it.
- Valuables pillaged in time of war; spoils.
- Stolen goods.
- Informal. Goods illicitly obtained, as by bribery.
- Informal. Things of value, such as gifts, received on one occasion.
- Slang. Money.