U.S. Soldiers Among First to Tour Ancient Iraqi Temple

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The Ziggurat of Ur has stood for 4,000 years in the desert near Nasiriyah in southeastern Iraq, but this unique historical site had been almost completely off limits to visitors under Saddam Hussein.

All that has changed since the old regime was overthrown in 2003, and now, U.S. soldiers are some of the site's most receptive visitors.

The temple-pyramid is part of the ruins of an ancient Sumerian city.

Dhair Muhsen, an Iraqi tour guide, said Hussein made it difficult for tourists to visit the sites, setting up strict checkpoints with Iraqi soldiers and telling people they couldn't take pictures.

The majority of people who visit the site now are U.S. soldiers, who are bussed over to the site from nearby Camp Adder.

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