Iraq's legacy of looted treasures is revealed using digital photos

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The looting of Iraq's cultural treasures made headlines around the world in the wake of the invasion by the US and its allies in March 2003. Now the extent of the harm to archaeological sites in southern Iraq has been quantified, thanks to commercial satellite images.

Modern-day Iraq contains relics from some of the world's oldest cities and is often referred to as the" cradle of civilisation". Anecdotal reports and helicopter flyovers suggested the looting of artifacts has been widespread.

To find the extent of the problem, archaeologist Elizabeth Stone at Stony Brook University in New York examined images from Digital Globe Corporation, a private satellite imaging company. The looming conflict sparked DGC's interest in Iraq and from February 2003 it took many high-resolution images of the country....

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