Monday, December 19, 2011

When Politics and Archaeology Meet

The most recent issue of Archaeology has an interesting article in it regarding a large number of cunieform tablets from the Persian Empire.

These tablets are being researched and published by archaeologists. The tablets are in the United States until they are published. Then they are supposed to be returned to Iran.

Attorneys for the victims of terrorist acts that the Iranian government allegedly is involved in, have sued to seize and sell the tablets to help compensate the victims and their families. This has led to the government of Iran demanding the tablets return.

I have no idea how all this will (or even should) work out. All I can say is that when politics get involved with archaeology (or pretty much anything else) a complete mess is sure to follow.

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