Thursday, April 06, 2006

SOMETHING GOOD HAS COME OUT OF IRAQ!

A treasure trove of ancient stone tablets has been found not far from ancient Ur by a team of Italian archaeologists. The tablets bear about 500 engravings of a literary and historical nature, according to team leader Silvia Chiodi. "An exceptional find," she said, "I was looking for a wall structure spotted by an airborne photo when I spotted a small inscription on bitumen and then realized it wasn't the only one."

Commenting on the find, Giovanni Pettinato, an archaeologist famed for his work at Ebla in Syria, said "The most surprising thing is the time span the tablets cover, ranging from 2700 BCE, the First Dynasty of Ur, to 2100 BCE, the Third Dynasty...The place where the tablets were found, not far from the surface, leads one to suppose they contain information from a library... There could be thousands of them down there."

Chiodi said the tablets would probably occupy a prominent place in a new Virtual Museum of Iraq which Italy is building to show people what Baghdad's celebrated museum of antiquities looked like before it was looted in the wake of the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq.

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