Yale to Host Program on Preserving the Heritage of Iraq

A panel discussion on the role of the U.S. military in preserving the cultural heritage of Iraq will be held at Yale University on February 12 at 7 p.m. in Room 101, Linsly-Chittenden Hall, 63 High St.

This is the fourth event in a series titled “Iraq Beyond the Headlines,” launched in 2003. It is open to the public and the media, free of charge. The participants will be Laurie W. Rush, U.S. Army archaeologist, and Colonel Matthew Bogdanos, U.S Marine Corps.

Rush, who became an Army archaeologist in 1998, will speak on “Protecting the Past to Secure the Future: In-Theater Heritage Training for Deploying Personnel.” She holds a Ph.D. from Northwestern University and has expertise in identifying and documenting archaeological sites within Department of Defense properties. In the summer of 2007, Rush served as the archaeology planner for joint U.S.–Egyptian war games. For personnel deploying to Iraq and Afghanistan, she has developed training projects, including a deck of playing cards with images and captions that address cultural property issues relevant to those regions. Among her other honors and grants, Rush won the 2007 Crystal Award for Achievement in Federal Preservation.

Bogdanos will speak on “Thieves of Baghdad: The Looting of the Iraq Museum.” He earned undergraduate and graduate degrees in classics from Bucknell and Columbia universities as well as a law degree from Columbia. He also holds an M.A. in strategic studies from the Army War College. Since 1988, Bogdanos has been an assistant district attorney in Manhattan. He was recalled to active duty in the Marines in 2001. In April 2003, he initiated and led the investigation into the looting of the Iraq Museum, remaining in Baghdad until November 2003. Since returning to the DA’s office, he has worked independently to stop the global illegal antiquities trade. In addition to numerous military decorations and other awards, Bogdanos was given the 2005 National Humanities Medal. The royalties from his book, “Thieves of Baghdad,” published by Bloomsbury Press, all go to the Iraq Museum.

“Iraq Beyond the Headlines IV,” moderated by Karen Polinger Foster, lecturer in Near Eastern Languages & Civilizations and History of Art, is sponsored by Yale’s Departments of Near Eastern Languages & Civilizations and Anthropology, the Program in Archaeological Studies, the Council on Middle East Studies of The MacMillan Center, and the Yale Babylonian Collection. For further information, contact karen.foster@yale.edu.



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Media Contact

Gila Reinstein: gila.reinstein@yale.edu, 203-432-1325