Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Whoring Babylon

The artifact pictured, dug up in Iraq apparently, can be yours for a song. Priceless relics are being excavated by looters, including children, and sold on the black market to make ends meet. Faisal Waleed, an Iraqi excavations expert: "A piece that values more than 50,000 dollars was being sold to me for less than 1,000 and acquired by him for about 10 dollars." Unfortunately, with security the way it is in the country, this will likely go on for some time. I don't imagine that buried sculptures are top priority right now in Iraq.
There are over 10,000 archaeological sites in the country, associated with the Babylonian, Sumerian, and Assyrian empires, most of which have been largely unexplored. Most of the selling seems to be going on through the black market to antiques dealers and such. So, unfortunately, we probably won't find an authentic statue of Pazuzu on Ebay any time soon.

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