national museum of iraq

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Sumerian Door Socket

This stone door socket from Lagash bears a dedicatory inscription written in Sumerian cuneiform (enlarged in the second image) from Gudea, the “ENSI” of Lagash, to Ningirsu, the patron god of that city. The Sumerian title of “ENSI”, which is usually spelled with the cuneiform signs PA.TE.SI as they appear in line 5 of this inscription, has no exact translation in English but designates a ruler, perhaps akin to a governor or prince, of a city-state. (Source)

Lagash II (c. 2200-2100).

National Museum of Iraq. Photo from CDLI.

Where are the Worlds Monument Men?

Saw The Monuments Men today and it was awesome it made me think about more recent wars and the destruction they have on history. In 2002 the taliban The Buddhas of Bamiyan dating back to 502 AD demolished During the American bombing of Baghdad, the National Museum of Iraq was looted bare if not for the bravery of museum staff 8,366 artifacts would have been destroyed or lost to unscrupulous private collectors. More recently in Mali in the city of Timbuktu and in other parts of the country militants destroyed hundreds of century old scrolls and tombs. Even now in Syria, the cradle of civilization, world heritage sites are being destroyed. Of course ending the deaths of hundreds of thousands should take precedent but without our art, monuments and historical artifacts what record of our past do we have? If we don’t know where we came from how can we know who we are and where were going?