An Update on the Looting of Archaeological Sites in Iraq
Southern Iraq suffered an onslaught of looting of archaeological sites following the first Gulf War and especially in the immediate aftermath of the US invasion. This paper uses recent high resolution satellite imagery taken by the Digital Globe Corporation to compare data on site looting collected based on imagery from 2003 to today. The high resolution of these images makes every looting hole clearly visible. These data show that while looting continues, it is at a significantly lower level than before, especially given the more than 20 years between the two sets of imagery. Some changes can be documented in both the location of the looting and the time periods and types of sites affected. Especially noteworthy is the decrease in looting at fourth millenium and Early Islamic sites.