Mudcat Café message #1380222 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #62901   Message #1380222
Posted By: Amos
16-Jan-05 - 09:42 PM
Thread Name: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From the Toronto Star of 1-15-2005:

Jan. 15, 2005. 08:48 AM
U.S. troops damaged ancient Babylon's remains: report
Archaeological fragments used to fill sandbags, British Museum says

ASSOCIATED PRESS

LONDON U.S.-led troops using the ancient Iraqi city of Babylon as a base have caused widespread damage and contamination, according to a report by the British Museum.

The report, quoted by the Guardian newspaper toay, said military vehicles had crushed a 2,600-year-old brick pavement and that there were archaeological fragments scattered across the site, including broken bricks stamped by King Nebuchadnezzar.

The dragons at the Ishtar Gate were marred by cracks and gaps where someone tried to remove their decorative bricks, the paper said.

Museum officials were not immediately available for comment today.

John Curtis, keeper of the British Museum's Near East department, who was invited by the Iraqis to study the site, also found that large quantities of sand mixed with archaeological fragments have been taken from the site to fill military sandbags and metal mesh baskets, the newspaper said.

"This is tantamount to establishing a military camp around the Great Pyramid in Egypt or around Stonehenge in Britain," Curtis said in the report.

The remains of Babylon, one of the world's most important archaeological sites, have been occupied since the early days of the invasion by U.S. Marines and, more recently, by soldiers from Poland and other countries. Babylon is 50 miles south of Baghdad.