RESOLUTION ON PROTECTING ARCHÆOLOGICAL SITES IN IRAQ FROM LOOTING

On Sunday, March 18, 2007, at the 217th Annual Meeting of the American Oriental Society, a special panel, “Where Have all the Tablets Gone”, was organized by Robert Englund and included panelists Jerrold Cooper, Steven Garfinkle and Micah Garen. After some discussion and debate, a resolution was formulated that was presented at the business meeting to the membership. The resolution was passed by the membership in attendance, one vote shy of unanimous.

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RESOLUTION

“Whereas the looting of ancient sites in Iraq continues in our day
with little sign of abatement, leading to incalculable loss of
historical and cultural knowledge;

And Whereas diverse archaeological and journalistic organizations
have already compiled a register of such affected sites;

And Whereas responsible opinion and evaluation, based on
established precedence, have suggested that a relatively modest
numbers of guards can discourage if not stop looting at the most
distressed archaeological sites in Iraq;

And Whereas the funding of cohorts of guards at Iraqi
archaeological sites requires, in present dollars, a relatively
modest sum of money;

Therefore, be it Resolved that the American Oriental Society, in
meeting assembled at San Antonio, Texas, on March 18th, 2007, calls
on and urges the Congress of the United States of America to
legislate with dispatch a program to fund the systematic
safeguarding of distressed sites until such time as the proper
Iraqi authorities are ready to bring such a program under its own
control.”