Resurrecting the ruins of Aqar Quf, Iraqi ziggurat

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Shepherd boys scale the ancient tower at Aqar Quf with ease.

The ziggurat’s clay-brick walls have eroded into steep cliffs over the past 3,500 years, and the
shepherds go hand over hand on a well-known path to the peak. There are no guards blocking the
climb, no visitors to watch the spectacle.

On the desert below, the shepherds’ flock grazes among the gutted remains of a museum and restaurant.

The Aqar Quf ziggurat is among the 10 oldest structures in Iraq and once drew hundreds of visitors
each week from nearby Baghdad. But the ancient site was abandoned and stripped by looters during the

As violence subsides, the government in this rural corner of the Abu Ghraib district is struggling
to get national funding to reopen the Aqar Quf historic site and bolster the local economy....

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