Prof teaches soldiers to fight antiquities theft

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Archaeology professor Brian Rose wants to make sure ancient artifacts stay in their rightful homes -- even if those homes are in war zones.

Rose, who has worked on excavation sites around the world, is trying to ensure that military personnel on duty treat valuable artifacts with respect.

He was struck by the problem after hearing of famous museums and archeological sites in Iraq and Afghanistan being looted by locals in the aftermath of the fall of Saddam Hussein and the Taliban.

Priceless works of art, Rose said, were showing up around the world, many of them being sold on the auction Web site

"A lot of the pieces [on eBay] may be from the Baghdad Archaeological Museum, but if no inventory number is written on them, you can't prove it," he said. "And if you can't prove it, then [selling them] is legal."

He realized, he said, that he should go straight to the troops themselves.

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