Remember all those stories from 2003 about all the destruction and looting of Iraqi archaeological sites after Saddam Hussein’s government fell? Turns out they were greatly exaggerated. From the Wall Street Journal:
A recent mission to Iraq headed by top archaeologists from the U.S. and U.K. who specialize in Mesopotamia found that, contrary to received wisdom, southern Iraq’s most important historic sites — eight of them — had neither been seriously damaged nor looted after the American invasion. This, according to a report by staff writer Martin Bailey in the July issue of the Art Newspaper. The article has caused confusion, not to say consternation, among archaeologists and has been largely ignored by the mainstream press. Not surprising perhaps, since reports by experts blaming the U.S. for the postinvasion destruction of Iraq’s heritage have been regular fixtures of the news.