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Valuable archaeological site in Iraq left unguarded since 2003

Iraq’s Tall Harmal, site of the old Babylonian city of Shadupum, has been left unguarded since 2003 resulting in damage to the site and illegal digs.

The site, in the outskirts of Baghdad, was fenced and seen as one of the country’s most important ancient landmarks prior to the invasion.

Only recently the Antiquities Department has remember Harmal, where Iraq’s most renowned archaeologist Taha Baqer had unearthed an ancient library of about 300 cuneiform documents in the late 1940s and early 1950s.

Baqer did not only excavate the city but reconstructed some of its most important buildings where visitors could feel, touch and even smell the grandeur of a Babylonian site.

This highly significant site was left unattended “because of lack of financial resources”, according to Abdulzahra al-Talaqani, the department’s spokesman.

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