UCL News


Letter: Iraqi archaeological remains

11 June 2007

Simon Jenkins makes some telling points regarding the abrogation of responsibility by the occupying forces in Iraq.

Cultural heritage is a universal inheritance and a universal bequest. This point was made by the worldwide archaeological community prior to the invasion of 2003, which also took pains to highlight the fragility of archaeological remains in a post-Saddam Iraq. The rescue work of a handful of gallant and energetic individuals can only begin to counter the looters (using, presumably, weapons of mass extraction).

The state of archaeological sites in the custody of US troops is an indictment of the Bush regime's parochial attitude to culture in general. This is just another sad result of the incompetence of this extended folly in Mesopotamia.

James Doeser, UCL Institute of Archaeology, 'The Guardian'