Coalition Troops Damage Babylon
Reuters reports the outrage of Iraqi Minister of Culture Mufid al-Jazaeri at the damage he said is being done to the site of the ancient city of Babylon by Polish troops and equipment.
Heavy equipment, helicopters and other machinery used by Polish-led forces based at Babylon, 100 kilometres south of Baghdad, are causing irreparable harm, Mr Jazaeri said.
“Just their presence, with their heavy equipment, is harmful in and of itself,” the minister told Reuters, saying that helicopters landing and taking off were a particular problem.
“We don’t know how much damage the military presence has done because our experts are not permitted to enter the site.
“But we have received information that damage has been done to several archaeological sites,” he said, mentioning the temples of Nenma and Naboo, and the famed palace of Nebuchadnezzar.
Babylon was the capital of ancient Babylonia, an early civilisation that existed from around 1,800BC until 600BC.
For more on saving Iraq’s antiquities, see SAFE. See alsothe Iraq Crisis list at the University of Chicago.
Keith Watenpaugh’s guest editorial from late last May is also worth revisiting in this regard.
For more on the civilization of Babylon, see The International History Project.