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Cornell Will Return Controversial Cuneiform Tablets to Iraq

Monday, November 04, 2013

Cornell Cuneiform TabletsITHACA, NEW YORK—Cornell University will return to Iraq a collection of cuneiform tablets that were donated to the school by Jonathan Rosen, a former business partner of antiquities dealer Robert Hecht. The 10,000 Mesopotamian tablets date to the fourth millennium B.C., and may have been looted from Iraq after the 1991 Gulf War. Among the tablets, which record details of daily life, temple rituals, agricultural records, and the resettlement of refugees, are the private archive of a Sumerian princess. “We’re not accusing anyone of a crime, but we believe they should be returned,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Miro Lovric.