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It has been said that the first casualty of war is truth; the second is history. Since the overthrow of Saddam Hussein by coalition forces, the violence in Iraq has obscured its place in history as the seat of Western civilization. This documentary reminds viewers of the seven-thousand-year-old history of the land once called Mesopotamia with its rich buried culture waiting to be retrieved by archaeologists.
Robbing the Cradle of Civilization chronicles the infamous looting of the Baghdad Museum after the fall of Baghdad. McGuire Gibson, archaeologist at the University of Chicago, was the only voice from the international scholarly community to warn the Pentagon to protect the museum. Despite pleas for intervention, four days of random looting ensued, unstopped by allied forces.
Sites all over the country including Nippur, Ur, and Samara fell victim to looters with an appetite for antiquities. Despite a 1936 Iraqi law that all artifacts must remain in the country and the 1976 United Nation convention banning purchase of looted antiquities, little could be done to stop the smuggling, often through Jordan, of objects eagerly sought by wealthy collectors all over the world.
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