A Tumultuous Decade

Prof Roger Matthews, Near Eastern Archaeology, University of Reading The study of the ancient Near East is inextricably linked with political developments in the modern Middle East. The past ten years have been a disruptive and difficult decade. CWA’s first issue appeared a few months after the US/UK-led invasion of Iraq, with the notorious looting […]


Koldewey at Babylon

The dig The site of Babylon – one of the oldest, richest, and most fabled cities of Antiquity – had attracted a succession of European antiquarian investigators during the 19th century, but it was not until the arrival of a German Oriental Society (Deutsche Orient-Gesellschaft) team led by Robert Koldewey (1855-1925) that scientific excavations were […]


CWA travels to: Erbil Citadel

The World’s Longest Living Town Today, you will only get a view of Erbil Citadel ‘some four miles away’ from the window of a plane: there is a building boom going on in the modern city that surrounds the ancient settlement. Even so, the sight of the great citadel cannot fail to impress. It sits […]


Layard at Nimrud

On an overland ride from England to Ceylon in 1839, Austen Henry Layard became fascinated by the newly emerging archaeology of Mesopotomia (in modern Iraq).


Royal Tombs of Ur

From the underground chambers of the Royal Tombs emerged a picture of a civilisation that was at once dazzling and sinister


Penn Museum’s First Excavations

This autumn the Penn Museum will hold an exhibition on their first-ever excavation at Nippur in modern Iraq. But it all centres on a most scandalous affair, as Richard Hodges, Director of the Penn Museum explains.


Rape of Mesopotamia: Behind the Looting of the Iraq Museum

The Rape of Mesopotamia is not an exaggerated title, unfortunately. His book is an ‘autopsy of a cultural disaster’, writes Lawrence Rothfield, a former director of the Cultural Policy Center at the University of Chicago, an institution long associated with Mesopotamian archaeology. Indeed he draws heavily on the experience of McGuire Gibson, his archaeologist colleague […]


Iraq Looting

Five years on from the US occupation of Iraq, archaeologists have been attempting to quantify the scale of the damage to heritage sites


Uruk-Warqa, Iraq

Professor Roger Matthews, gives the low-down on Uruk-Warka in Iraq, seemingly the birth-place of writing and appears in the Bible

My old trowel.

Iraq School

The Iraq school is in many ways in even a worse situation than the EES, as they are more reliant on Academy funding: of their total turnover of £100,000, some £60,000 comes from the British Academy: this is to be reduced to £30,000 for the next two years, and will then be cut completely. The […]

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