For decades, the public’s image of Iraq has been defined by repression and violence, despite the fact that Mesopotamia was the focus of one of the world’s earliest civilizations. Writing, the wheel, astronomy, the codification of law, and mathematics were invented or further developed there. Sumerians, Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, Arabs, and Turks all left traces of their presence, making Iraq an archaeological treasure-house, the contents of which have, for the most part, still to be inventoried. There are countless historic structures – restored, in ruins, or buried – that possess a timeless beauty. From these remains, archaeologists, historians, anthropologists, and others have been able to reconstruct societies of the distant past.
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