Cultural Heritage News

  • 14 Jul 2014 7:52 AM | Gary Nurkin (Administrator)
    Fears Grow for Safety of Iraq's Cultural Heritage Under ISIS
    Iraq has a long and rich heritage, home for thousands of years to mighty empires -- Assyria and Babylon, the Abbasid caliphate -- that ruled the region once known as Mesopotamia, widely held as the cradle of western civilisation and as a major centre of classical Islam. The region is thick with history, and historical artefacts.

    But when in June the extremist Sunni group ISIS took over swathes of northern Iraq, within a day or two of taking Mosul the group issued edicts which included orders to destroy Shiite graves and shrines and other ancient relics -- orders which appear to have been carried out, with six sites destroyed. Rumour and fears over the possible fate of the region's even more ancient cultural heritage under this heavy-handed new regime have filled the gap since.

  • 14 Jul 2014 7:49 AM | Gary Nurkin (Administrator)

    Dinosaur skeletons, egg returned to Mongolia

    Dinosaur skeletons, egg returned to Mongolia


    NEW YORK undefined Several dinosaur skeletons and a fossilized egg looted from the Gobi Desert and illegally smuggled into the United States were returned to the government of Mongolia Thursday by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). HSI special agents seized the items during two separate investigations and determined they were illegally poached and smuggled out of Mongolia between 2005 and 2012.


  • 11 Jul 2014 5:50 PM | Anonymous

    Shocking moment ISIS militants take sledgehammers to Mosul tomb of Prophet Jonah as more than 50 blindfolded bodies are found massacred south of Baghdad

  • 10 Jul 2014 12:08 PM | Anonymous

    Christopher Dickey, foreign editor for the Daily Beast, speaks to Melissa Block about the dangers facing antiquities in a museum and other archaeological sites in the Iraqi city of Mosul.

    The Plight of Mosul's Museum: Iraqi Antiquities at Risk of Ruin

  • 10 Jul 2014 12:06 PM | Anonymous
    ISIS is About to Destroy Biblical History in Iraq 

    Iraqi antiquities officials are calling on the Obama administration to save Nineveh and other sites around jihadist-occupied Mosul. But are drone strikes really the answer?

  • 10 Jul 2014 11:46 AM | Gary Nurkin (Administrator)

    Man accused of stealing fossil dinosaur footprint 'made a mistake', attorney says

    Prosecutors say Jared Ehlers removed a 190-million-year-old footprint from a Utah trail and dumped it into the Colorado river

    utah dinosaur footprint fossil According to an archaeologist, the theft of dinosaur tracks and other fossils is 'pretty common' in Utah. Photograph:Douglas C Pizac/AP

    A man accused of stealing a priceless fossilized dinosaur footprint that has yet to be recovered is set to appear in court on Wednesday for a change of plea hearing.

    Jared Ehlers, 35, is accused of removing the 190-million-year-old fossil from a jeep trail east of Moab, Utah. Authorities have not been able to find the three-toed dinosaur track, which dates from the Jurassic period, since a tour guide learned it was missing after bringing a group of people to see it. He originally pleaded not guilty in April.

  • 02 Jul 2014 10:39 AM | Gary Nurkin (Administrator)

    Glasgow University uncovers relic looting networks

    Glasgow University researchers have uncovered a relic trafficking network. Picture: Wikipedia

    THE hidden world of relic looting from ancient historical sites has been laid bare by a new Glasgow University study.


    In the first ever empirical study of a statue trafficking network, researchers have revealed the global network of criminals needed to illegally traffic antiquities from ancient archaeological sites to museums and collections around the world.

    The study by criminologist Simon Mackenzie and lawyer Tess Davis, both of the University of Glasgow, traced the figures involved along the trafficking chain, beginning with the theft of the antiquity - in this study from Cambodian temples - and ending with its sale to a legitimate buyer.

    The researchers took the unique step of visiting looted sites to meet locals and identify the early links in the supply chain to the antiquities market. Previously, studies on the subject had started their research with antique dealers

  • 01 Jul 2014 3:22 PM | Gary Nurkin (Administrator)

    Organized Crime, Military Linked to Theft of Cambodian Artifacts

    Robert Carmichael

    Over the past 40 years Cambodia’s cultural heritage has been looted on a massive scale, with countless thousands of artifacts taken from hundreds of sites, smuggled out of the country and into museums and private collections around the world. New research indicates that not only was much of this the work of organized networks, but that most pieces have disappeared from public view - probably forever.

    Between the start of Cambodia’s civil war in 1970 and the eventual end of hostilities some 30 years later, the country’s 1,000-year-old temples and other historic sites were comprehensively plundered. In one incident in the early 1970s, government soldiers used a military helicopter to airlift artifacts from the 12th century citadel of Banteay Chhmar in the northwest.

  • 01 Jul 2014 8:21 AM | Gary Nurkin (Administrator)


    Interim Government Establishes Heritage Task Force

    Ministry of Culture and Family Affairs for the Interim Government Establishes Heritage Task Force to Protect Syrian Culture

    The Ministry of Culture and Family Affairs for the Syrian Interim Government today announced the creation of a Heritage Task Force to help protect Syrian cultural heritage in the present crisis. Damage to museums, archaeological sites, religious buildings, and historic structures is known to be widespread. Just in recent weeks, a new wave of organized archaeological looting began at Dura-Europos, the Ottoman period gate at Deir Ez-Zor was bombed, the desecration of a medieval Christian graveyard, and the destruction of the Jewish Synagogue in Jobar and the Omayyad mosque in Aleppo. The Heritage Task Force was established in order to address these and other heritage preservation concerns.

    The Heritage Task Force will coordinate its efforts with UNESCO and other international heritage organizations, such as ICOMOS, ICCROM, and ICOM. It will also work with the community groups and non-governmental organizations that are working diligently to protect heritage inside Syria. The Heritage Task Force will be chaired by Dr. Amr Al Azm, an associate professor of Middle East history and anthropology at Shawnee State University (Ohio, USA) and will consist of other internationally recognized Syrian technical experts.

  • 01 Jul 2014 7:32 AM | Gary Nurkin (Administrator)

    Remains of Ancient Child Reburied in Montana

    The 12,600-year-old remains of an infant boy were reburied Saturday in a Native American ceremony after scientists recovered DNA from the child discovered in central Montana in 1968.

    The boy's remains were put back as close as possible to the original burial site. Two film crews, about 30 American Indian tribal representatives from Montana and Washington, and others attended the reburial ceremony, The Billings Gazette reported ( ).

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