Ancient Tablet – A 28000-year-old stone tablet kept with Italy for nearly four decades has now been returned to Iraq, and had gone on display.
The tablet is inscribed with an ancient Babylonian alphabet in a cuneiform text- a system of writing on clay.
It is still unclear how the tablet was first found and made its way Italy where it was taken by authorities is the 1980s. Iraqi Culture Minister Ahmed Badrani said it may have been found during archaeological excavations of the Mosul Dam.
Iraq itself is often called the ‘cradle of civilization’, being where the world’s first writing was found. In the late 8th Century, the country’s House of Wisdom- Bayt al Hikmah – boasted the largest library of books on science, art, math, medicine and philosophy.
Looting of the country’s antiques intensified following the US’s invasion 20 years ago.
Iraq’s president praised the diplomacy and co-operation displayed by Italy, when Italian authorities handed it over to Iraqi President, Abdul Latif Rashid in the city of Bologna last week. The president said he would work to recover all Iraqi archeological pieces from abroad, which is a sentiment shared by many post-colonial nations around the world with important artefacts being held hostage by their colonizers in museums.