Thursday, July 03, 2008

Some Known Knowns and Known Unknowns about Extent of Site Looting

A bit more information about what we know and do not know about the extent of site looting:

Elizabeth Stone (Antiquity, vol 82, March 2008) quantifies the extent of looting in southern Iraq. Stone examined almost 10,000 square kilometres of imagery, containing some 1900 archaeological sites. She says 15.75 square kilometres of land have been intensively looted, including 213 archaeological sites. This is an area four times greater than all the archeological excavations undertaken in southern Iraq over the past century.

Stone has confirmed for me in an interview that the most recent imagery she has been working with is "not in the real heartland of looting. That area has not been imaged that recently."

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