At the time of this writing the self-styled Caliphate created by Islamic State six years ago in Syria and Iraq has been reduced to little more than a square mile of bombed out rubble. During IS’ heyday much was made in the western press of a supposed systematic trade in antiquities looted by IS operatives… Read More As the IS “Caliphate” disappears, time to revisit larger issues of the illicit antiquities trade
A February 16 BBC documentary on looting in Syria made the astonishing claim that the smuggling of looted antiquities was “one of Islamic State’s main sources of funding.” On February 22 I responded to this faulty investigation with this blog entry: https://clioantiquities.wordpress.com/2015/02/22/sensationalist-reporting-and-the-antiquities-trade-if-its-in-print-it-must-be-true/ My article raised three key points: First, that despite evidence of looting, which… Read More Critics Missing the Point: Responses to Clio’s February 22 Article on Looting in Syria.
This is not completely confirmed yet but ISIS had been claiming for some time they would do this. They clearly wish to erase any traces of ancient Assyrian heritage from their self styled caliphate. Here’s the Iraqi news item (open in a new tab or page): http://www.iraqinews.com/iraq-war/isis-detonates-large-parts-nineveh-historical-wall/
In April of 2013 I published on this blog a photo essay highlighting some of the many Assyrian antiquities in The British Museum (here is the link: https://clioantiquities.wordpress.com/2013/04/13/a-sampler-of-ancient-assyrian-art-at-the-british-museum/ ). Little could anyone have known at the time that a gang of fanatics and thugs, referred to now under the English language acronyms ISIS or ISIL,… Read More Assyrian Art and the “Repatriation” of Antiquities
This blog accompanies the exhibition Assyria to Iberia at the Dawn of the Classical Age, on view from September 22, 2014, through January 4, 2015 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Both the exhibition page on the Met’s website and the Blog that accompany it – http://www.metmuseum.org/exhibitions/listings/2014/assyria-to-iberia/blog – are packed with information… Read More Blog for the new exhibition “Assyria to Iberia at the Dawn of the Classical Age”
Visitors with a special interest in antiquities will be stunned when visiting the Ashmolean Museum at Oxford University, not only because of the great quality of ancient art and artifacts on view but also because of the key role that many of these objects have played in the development of fields such as archaeology and… Read More Antiquities at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford: A Photo Essay
Glazed terracotta tile. Nimrud. 875-850 BCE Protective spirit. Northwest Palace at Nimrud. 865 BCE Human headed winged lion, formerly flanking a doorway in the Northwest Palace at Nimrud. Time of Ashurnasirpal I, 865 BCE The Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III, showing scenes of tribute bearers from many lands. 858-824 BCE Gates from Shalmaneser III’s palace… Read More A Sampler of Ancient Assyrian Art at the British Museum