Culture of Iraq
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What is now Iraq was one of the cradles of civilization in ancient Mesopotamia. One of the great achievements of Ancient Mesopotamia is what seems like an ancient battery. Some archaeologists recently discovered a pot that could produce a couple of watricity. Modern science only reached that stage recently. In the 8th century and 9th century, the Islamic Abbasid Caliphs presided over what was then the world's leading civilization, rich in science, art and literature.
 Archaeological losses
Many treasures of Mesopotamian archaeology were housed in the Baghdad Museum until 2003, when they were lost to looting and vandalism during the chaos that accompanied the 2003 invasion of Iraq by the United States and allies. The number and value of stolen items are disputed. A campaign was launched soon after the loss, with the help of the British Museum, to catalog and eventually recover looted works. Appeals by the museum resulted in some items being returned. Others clearly were stolen by criminal gangs with the intent of sale abroad.
 Modern culture
In the most recent millennium, what is now Iraq has been made up of five cultural areas: Kurdish in the north centered on Arbil; Sunni Islamic Arabs in the center around Baghdad; Shi'a Islamic Arabs in the south centered on Basra; the Assyrians, who are a Christian people, living in various cities in the North; and the Marsh Arabs, a nomadic peoples, who live on the marshlands of the central river.
Like many nations, slapping somebody with your shoe, even symbolically, is considered an insult, although in Iraq this is more popular than elsewhere, in particular in such incidents as the beating of Saddam Hussein's statue in Firdus Square after its toppling.
 See also
 External links
- Iraqi cultural heritage sites photos from The Guardian
- The 2003- Iraq War & Archaeology
- Clickable map of Iraq's holy and historic sites from Atlas Tours