Morphogenesis - Priestessing on the edge of chaos: OLDEST HUMAN HISTORY IS AT RISK
Morphogenesis from the Greek morphe, form and genesis, coming into being
 OLDEST HUMAN HISTORY IS AT RISK
picture 14 Mar 2003 @ 17:22, by Letecia Layson

By Holland Cotter New York Times February 25, 2003

Iraq has hundreds of thousands of archaeological sites. Some 10,000 have been identified, but only a fraction have been explored. Any of them could change what we know about human history, as past excavations have done. Some have already revealed the world's earliest known villages and cities and the first examples of writing.

The country is also one of the prime centers of Islamic art and culture. It is home to some of the earliest surviving examples of Islamic architecture -- the Great Mosque at Samarra and the desert palace of Ukhaidar -- and it is also a magnet for religious pilgrimage. The tombs of Imam Ali and his son Husein, founders of the Shiite branch of Islam, at Najaf and Karbala, are two of the most revered in the Muslim world.

During the Persian Gulf war in 1991 at least one major archaeological monument, the colossal ziggurat of Ur, was bombed. Shock from explosions damaged fragile structures like the great brick vault at Ctesiphon, and the 13th-century university called the Mustansiriya in Baghdad. These are among the sites most at risk from war.

The article ends stating:

"If any of the holiest Shiite shrines at Karbala, Najaf or Kadhumain are hit, we can only expect a very angry reaction from Muslims everywhere," said Zainab Bahrani, who was born in Iraq and teaches Islamic art at Columbia University. "It would be like bombing St. Peter's in Rome."


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