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Ancient Sumerian Umma rapidly vanishing!

Ajami Basheet, the administrative director of Al Rifa’i (Al Refiey) District in Dhi Qar Province in Southern Iraq, told Al Ssabah Newspaper that the ancient Sumerian city of Umma (Tell Jokha) is being vandalized and looted on daily basis! 

Umma (Tell Jokha), an ancient Sumerian town in southern Iraq dating from the Ur III period  (ca. 2500-2000 BC), is filled with looters’ pits, and is a major source of black market artifacts including cuneiform tablets [Credit: USAID]
He stated that the site is being destroyed by looters without any attempts from the local government to protect it.  

According to Mr. Basheet, the number of security guards protecting the site is five, and that these guards cannot protect the entire site. 

Detail of looters’ pits amid house foundations at Umma in March, 2004 [Credit: REUTERS/Luke Baker]
He also stated that the police always fails to catch the looters, because they have enough time to escape. Many archaeologist believe that the looters have permanently damaged the site. 

Recently, the Global Heritage Network released aerial images comparing the ancient site in 2003 and 2010. The two images show the level of devastation left by looters’ trenches during that time.   

Source: Babylon Chronicle/tumblr [October 13, 2011]

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