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Archaeologists Return to Neanderthal Cave After Daesh Expulsion

06 Jan 2016


Having been expelled from northern Iraq and prevented from carrying out their work by Daesh, Iraqi archaeologists recently returned to a key site in the region and re-started their vital work.

Daesh forced the scientists out of the Shanadar Cave in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, preventing them from making new discoveries about the Neaderthal people who lived there 40,000 years ago.

“Although Daesh vandalised many locations and looted many pieces and collectibles, there remain many ways for us to protect the heritage of Iraq,” said one of the scientists, Dilshad Maaruf. “Archaeologists, scientific institutions, the Government and international organisations can all help.”

Among the most important discoveries made by archaeologists in the area are the remains of human bones. Many were looted by Daesh and were sold on the black market all over the world.

Maaruf criticised those who trade in ancient antiquities who have benefited financially from Daesh’s crimes, calling for American and European authorities to prevent traders from trading Monuments in the north of Iraq.

Before Daesh entered Iraq, 45 foreign missions from 16 countries were carrying out exploration surveys and digging in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. Since Kurdish forces expelled Daesh from the area, scientists have returned to the region, including to the Sahanadar Cave.


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