U.S. Repatriates Ancient Artifacts to Iraq

Posted on March 1, 2010


In a ceremony at the Iraqi embassy in D.C., the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) returned six items to the Iraqi ambassador to the United States.  Most of those items were ancient artifacts, which Ethiopian News listed as follows:

  • Neo-Assyrian gold earrings, ca. 8th-7th Century B.C., from a mass of gold jewelry known as the “Treasures of Nimrud”, first discovered in 1988 under the floor of the Royal Palace of King Ashur-Nasir-Pal II at Nimrud (Iraq) and later stolen from the Baghdad Museum.
  • A Babylonian clay foundation cone, ca. 2100 BC, which would have been embedded in a temple’s foundation with the name of the current ruler inscribed on it. This established the dedication of the temple to that ruler.
  • Sumerian bronze foundation cone and stone tablet with inscription, ca. 2,500 B.C. to 1,800 B.C., which would have been placed in the foundation or walls of a temple to mark them as sacred ground.
  • Iraqi coin, ca. 250 B.C., which was determined to be a Roman coin from 248-250 AD, when the Romans occupied what is now known as Iraq.

Repatriation of ancient artifacts consists of returning the objects to the country of origin or, for looted materials, to the proper owners.

The gun you see in the photo is an AK-47 with Saddam Hussein’s image, which Hussein handed out to Ba’ath party members and supporters.  It was taken as a war trophy by a member of the U.S. Army.

Read U.S. returns historical artifacts to Iraq on the Telegraph.