Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Open Access Book: From Babylon to Baghdad: Ancient Iraq and the Modern West

From Babylon to Baghdad: Ancient Iraq and the Modern West
(Press Release) July 22, 2009 - WASHINGTON, D.C. – Announcing the release of From Babylon to Baghdad: Ancient Iraq and the Modern West, a free e-book published by the Biblical Archaeology Society (BAS). This latest publication from BAS comes at a time of great concern for Iraq’s cultural heritage on the part of the archaeological community, which is outlined in a recent UNESCO report assessing the damage incurred to ancient sites and museums during the course of the Iraq war.

From Babylon to Baghdad: Ancient Iraq and the Modern West examines the relationship between ancient Iraq and the cultures of modern Western societies. This collection of articles, written by scholars who are the authorities on their subjects, details some of the ways in which ancient Near Eastern civilizations have impressed themselves on our Western culture. It examines the evolving relationship that modern scholarship has with this part of the world, and chronicles the present-day fight to preserve Iraq’s cultural heritage.

The four-article collection is comprised of the following:

“The Genesis of Genesis: Is the Creation Story Babylonian?” by Victor Hurowitz of Ben Gurion
University, examines the relationship between Mesopotamian mythology and the Judeo-Christian creation story.

“Backwards Glance: Americans at Nippur,” by Katharine Eugenia Jones, recounts the adventures—and misadventures—of the first American archaeological expedition to the region.

“Europe Confronts Assyrian Art,” by Mogens Trolle Larsen of the University of Copenhagen, explains what Europeans first thought of the art and artifacts that began to arrive in the West from the excavations of ancient Mesopotamian sites.

“Firsthand Report: Tracking Down the Looted Treasures of Iraq,” by reservist Colonel Matthew
Bogdanos, head of the military-led coalition of law enforcement agencies called the Joint Inter-Agency Coordination Group, chronicles the efforts to retrieve the priceless artifacts looted from the Baghdad Museum in April 2003, following the fall of Baghdad to U.S. forces.

This free e-book is available for download at For more information, please visit the Biblical Archaeology Society’s Web site or contact Sarah Yeomans at
1.202.364.3300 ext. 221.

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