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Foreign Archaeologists Return to Iraq

Thursday, February 21, 2013


US Navy 030529-N-5362A-001 BAGHDAD, IRAQ—The Iraqi government has authorized excavation permits for six foreign archaeological teams, including Italian and British researchers who will soon begin digging sites in the southern half of the country. Their work will complement the work of local Iraqi archaeologists, some of whom recently found the remains of the country's oldest Christian church in Karbala province. "Italy, the United States, and the United Kingdom were among the first countries to send archaeological teams to Iraq," said Abbas al-Quraishi, director of the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities artifact recovery department. "We look forward to increasing their presence on our various archaeological projects." The ministry estimates that there are 40,000 sites in Iraq that have yet to be explored.