Although I'm aware that Iraq is not in fact in the Southern Hemisphere, I want to post a link to this video here to do my part to give it further coverage in the media and blogosphere.
I originally encountered the video here. The source is AlJazeera's English Language broadcast. It is only by further investigations and reporting like this, but in other heavily threatened locations around the world as well (Cambodia, for example), that the "Big Lie" perpetuated by die-hard antiquities dealers can be further exposed. Can anyone, especially anyone claiming to be a "responsible collector," look at videos like this and still not think that fresh loot is fueling the global market? Wouldn't one have to at least become a little "suspicious" as to the authenticity of that "Old Collection" provenance lable seen on yet another cylinder seal or cuneiform tablet? Yes, broken up musuem and private collections pre-dating 1970 do exist, but those items too are especially likely to have left their context through what would today be defined as looting, given the near-complete lack of heritage laws and systematic, scientific archaeology at the time. Seeing essentially the same activities continue today in war-torn countries like Iraq and Afghanistan, or those still reeling from the effects of war 35yrs on, could lead only the most willfully ignorant to the conclusion that the looting threat is "over exaggerated!"
5 hours ago