Archaeology Magazine

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Assyrian Gold Tablet Returned to Germany

Monday, December 09, 2013

MINEOLA, NEW YORK—A 3,200-year-old inscribed gold tablet that was brought to the United States by Riven Flamenbaum, a survivor of the Holocaust, has returned to Germany’s Pergamon Museum. Flamenbaum said that at the end of World War II, he traded his cigarettes and food from the Red Cross to Russian soldiers for the Assyrian artifact, which was excavated from Iraq’s Ishtar Temple by German archaeologists a century ago. Flamenbaum’s descendants argued in Nassau County Court that the tablet was a spoil of war. They wanted to donate it to the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C., according to their attorney, Steven Schlessinger.