The Sunday Magazine

Smashing history: the impact of ISIS attacks on biblical Iraq

Militant fighters have been destroying Christian graves, ancient ruins and statues in museums. But Eleanor Robson, Chair of the Council at the British Institute for the Study of Iraq, says the damage is not just to precious old stones.
A Twitter account associated with ISIS posts a horrifying photo documenting the group's destruction of a religious site.

Perhaps the longest-standing legacy of ISIS will be its hatred for history. Militant fighters systematically have been smashing statues in museums, destroying Christian graves and damaging the remains of ancient ruins. Ancient Assyria has fallen victim to much of this destruction.

Eleanor Robson has spent her entire academic career studying this part of the world. She is the Chair of Council at the British Institute for the Study of Iraq and teaches history at University College London.

Ms. Robson tells Michael Enright, that the damage goes even deeper. Iraqi and Syrian archaeologists who preserve and interpret the ancient world, can no longer work. Their expertise is in danger of being lost.

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