H-Museum: Iraq - The cradle of civilization at risk

Marra, Stephanie

Dear Madams and Sirs, dear Colleagues,

Today H-Museum presents its new current focus:
Iraq - The cradle of civilization at risk.


The current focus contains:
Introduction, Iraq News Digests, Selected Articles and Documents, Journals and Magazines, Museums/Collections/Institutions, Online-Resources
The current focus looks from a cultural and historical perspective at present developments concerning the military conflict in Iraq. Included are also special editions of the News Digest, which contains articles from the time of the first Gulf War to the present dealing with the historical monuments, archaeological sites, and museums in Iraq.
Iraq is a country with a rich history. A great number of monuments of the history of civilization, archaeological sites, and museums are situated on the Euphrates and Tigris rivers and in other areas. Already in 1990/91, during the first Gulf War, these historical monuments and other places of historical importance were put at direct risk by military action as well as by the abuse as Iraqi military positions. The war in Iraq in 2003 again exposes these historical monuments and other places of historical interest to great danger. War always carries with it not only suffering and misery for the population but also always hurts the cultural and historical evidence.
Present-day Iraq occupies the greater part of the ancient land of Mesopotamia, the plain between Euphrates and Tigris rivers. Some of the world's greatest ancient civilizations were developed in this area. Therefore the region is often referred to as the cradle of mankind. Present-day Iraq possesses a huge amount of historical monuments and archaeological sites, e. g. Niniveh, the seat of government of the 7th century BC king Assurbarnipal; Ur, where the Sumerian civilization had its final flowering at the close of the 3rd millennium BC and where according to the Bible Abraham was born; Uruk, the scene of the Gilgamesh Epic; the Parthian desert city of Hatra, which is on the UNESCO's list of cultural world heritage; Assur, the first capital of the Assyrian kingdom with the famous Ishtar temple; and Babylon, in the 18th century BC the seat of king Hammurabi, who is primarily remembered for his codification of the laws governing Babylonian life.
Experts guess that there are about 100,000 sites of cultural and historical importance in Iraq, most of them not yet excavated; about 10,000 are known. However, the cultural heritage of Iraq is primarily Arabic. One of these famous Islamic monuments is the 55 meters high spiraling minaret of the great mosque in Sumarra, built in 850 AD. In addition this land is the home of the three world religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.
Ralf Blank, Stephanie Marra

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