By John Lee.
Liwa’ Smaysim, the Iraqi Minister of Tourism and Antiquities, has stated that Iraq has plans to organize a major conference later this year for all local and foreign excavation teams in order to explore latest technologies in archaeological excavations.
He also indicated that the ministry hopes that this gathering will be the first step towards organizing an international conference to address the status of Mesopotamian antiquities.
Qais Hussein Rashid, the Director of the Museums Board at the Iraqi Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, stated that the main reason behind excavating the Mesopotamian Marshes sites is the fact that they need to be explored and documented before they submerge in the marshes’ rising waters.
He pointed out that the ministry has developed a road-map to save more than 122 archeological sites before they disappear under the marshes’ waters. However, the work has been slow due to the limited number of excavation teams and the need for more international support.
Rashid also noted that the National Museum received 1950 important artifacts from excavation teams working in that area, some of which date back to the Babylonian, Parthian, Sassanid and Islamic periods.
(Source: Babylon Chronicle)