Ain’t No Room for Culture in the New I-Rack

The United States is now rivaling those who burned the Great Library of Alexandria as cultural destroyers. Having deliberately built a base upon Babylon, a new report from the British Museum notes:

  • damage to the dragons decorating the Ishtar Gate, one of the world’s most famous monuments, from attempts to prise out the relief-moulded bricks
  • broken bricks inscribed with the name of Nebuchadnezzar lying in spoil heaps
  • the original brick surface of the great processional route through the gate crushed by military vehicles
  • fuel seeping from tanks into archaeological layers
  • acres of the site levelled, covered with imported gravel – which Dr Curtis said would be impossible to remove without causing further damage – and sprayed with chemicals which are also seeping into the unexcavated buried deposits
  • thousands of tonnes of archaeological material used to fill sandbags and mesh crates, and equally damaging, when that practice stopped, thousands more tonnes of material imported from outside the site, contaminating the site for archaeologists forever.

Dr. John Curtis, the writer of the report, noted that his charges “should not be seen as exhaustive, but is indicative of the types of damage caused.”