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In the world of Mesopotamian archaeology, no other museum could rival the collections from the Iraq Museum. Spanning a time from before 9,000 B.C. well into to the Islamic period they included some of the earliest tools man ever made, painted polychrome ceramics from the 6th millennium B.C., a relief-decorated cult vase from Uruk, famous gold treasures from the Royal Cemetery at Ur, Sumerian votive statues from Tell Asmar, Assyrian reliefs and bull figures from Assyrian capitals of Nimrud, Nineveh, and Khorsabad, to Islamic pottery and coins--an unrivaled treasure not only for Iraq, but for all of mankind.
In the days following the conquest of Baghdad the Iraq Museum was looted. Reports on the damage vary--the number of lost or stolen objects varies between 50,000 to 200,000. Irrespective of numbers, the losses not only to the world of a archaeology but to mankind in general are tremendous .
site contains Oriental Institute images of objects from the Iraq Museum,
sorted by categories. Other images were scanned from books and are posted
here with permission of the publishers:
In addition, several institutions and individuals generously contributed pictures from their own holdings--their help is gratefully acknowledged here. It is hoped that it will be of use as a reference tool in the recovery of artifacts should they appear on the antiquities market.
Naturally, this site is highly incomplete at this point. They will continue to add pictures over the next few weeks as we acquire them; a searchable object database is planned as a second phase for the website, to be developed over the next few weeks.
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