Saving culture in war zones with a deck of cardsArcheologist Laurie Rush is leading a charge to teach armed forces around the world about preserving archeological sites and ancient artifacts in conflict areas. She believes doing so can be essential for safe missions.

22 Aug 2012 7:41 AM | Anonymous

Saving culture in war zones with a deck of cards

Archeologist Laurie Rush is leading a charge to teach armed forces around the world about preserving archeological sites and ancient artifacts in conflict areas. She believes doing so can be essential for safe missions.

Soldiers often enter conflict zones with limited knowledge of local cultural and historical nuances. Archaeologist Laurie Rush recognized that their ignorance can make conflicts worse. So she helped create a deck of playing cards that displays photos and messages about cultural heritage in Iraq, Afghanistan and Egypt.

Visitors going through the Ishtar Gate at a Babylon exhibition in Berlin (AP Photo/Franka Bruns)

The Ishtar Gate of ancient Babylon

Troops see pictures of Buddhist statues and tablets when playing poker and other games with the cards. They may discover that buying and selling antiquities is illegal or be reminded to look before digging. And Rush's concept has caught on: Soldiers from the US and other countries have snapped up more than 165,000 decks.

 

http://www.dw.de/dw/article/0,,16180922,00.html

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