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Mesopotamian Artifacts Repatriated to Iraq

Monday, May 10, 2021

AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS—According to a statement released by the Government of the Netherlands, Dutch officials have handed over seven artifacts recovered from a private collector to Hisham Al Alawi, the ambassador from Iraq. The Mesopotamian artifacts include foundation cones, which are made of clay and inscribed with cuneiform texts, and are usually found in building walls or temple foundations; a figurine depicting a ram that may have been used as an amulet or a seal; a figurine representing a goddess; and an inscribed clay tablet. These types of artifacts are all listed on the International Council of Museums’ lists of items that are vulnerable to theft, plunder, and illegal export. To read about cuneiform tablets that record taxes paid to a short-lived dynasty of Mesopotamian kings, go to "Ancient Tax Time: Spoils of War."

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