It is with great pleasure that I report the honour bestowed upon Osama Shukir Muhammed Amin, one of the key contributors to Ancient History et cetera: In conjunction with International Museum Day on 18 May 2016, the Sulaymaniyah Museum honoured Osama’s contribution to the development of the museum, through the publication of several articles detailing the museum, its artefacts, and its discoveries here on AHetc. We’re incredibly proud of Osama’s achievement, and grateful for his unique and highly interesting contributions to this site, giving us a glimpse of the treasures of Iraq, which are otherwise inaccessible to most of us.
I was taking photos in the main hall of the Sulaymaniyah Museum and came across a display case containing a small clay tablet. The description beside it said the tablet was part of the Epic of Gilgamesh and a fragment of tablet V. Immediately I thought it was a ‘replica’ as the description was superficial. It did not say the tablet was genuine, that it was newly discovered or even told about the many new pieces of information it had revealed. After the US-led invasion of Iraq and the dramatic looting of Iraqi and other museums, the Sulaymaniyah Museum (directed by the council of ministers of Iraqi Kurdistan) started an initiative. They paid smugglers to ‘intercept’ archeological artifacts on their journey to other countries. No questions were asked about who was selling the piece or where it came from. The Sulaymaniyah Museum believed this condition kept smugglers from selling their merchandise to other buyers, as they would have otherwise done so ‘with ease and without any legal consequences.’