What price the treasures of the past,,a warning from history

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A very short post that’s more questions than answers.

ISIS  has embarked on a crusade ( I use the word fully cognisant of its negative connotations )against the heritage of the countries in which is it ascendant ,it’s busily destroying the priceless heritage of  conquered people’s ,a heritage that belongs for all time to all humanity and that has been in many cases treasured and in every case has survived for millennia .The lack of publicity for these events and the lack of concern for its threats to other sites is appalling because it is a warning to Europe that Isis is now at its gates

The destruction of these sites has huge implications ,is not just the defacing of priceless statues but the total destruction of sites such as Nimrod

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It has  first defaced

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Then blown apart

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and destroyed utterly any remaining fragments leaving deserts of rubble

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Destorying not just the surviving sites but  also any unexcavated remains,perhaps another Rosetta Stone ,more library’s of cuneiform tablets ,more priceless pieces of jewellery or pottery that could establish trade routes ,,all lost to us and our children and childrens children .Does one generation have a right to rob those yet born of knowledge and beauty and heritage?.If not what is the correct way to defend that heritage ? Does it justify an armed response should economic sanctions be used ,should we at the cost to ourselves of increased oil prices boycott such countries,should we create more punitive laws for those trading in stolen artifacts.ISIS and  other groups have made Millons from this illicit trade in antiquities and therefore those convicted of trading ought to be dealt with under terrorism laws,looted antiquities should be seen in the same light as blood or confict Diamonds as the funds gained are put to exactly the same use.

While so far the sites and artifacts destroyed have a significance only recognised by  the citizens of th countries concerned and the academic community ,what site will need to be destroyed before we take action ,what is one step too far,,

ISIS is gaining power and land across the Middle East and is now not far from the borders of Europe.Israel and states with borders on countries under their control such as Jordan

What if it destroys ,Petra

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Jordan now has Isis on its borders ,it controls territory along huge lengths of Jordan’s border ,it’s under a hundred  miles away ,Isis has marked Jordan out as one of its next targets  especially as Jordan has thousands of refugees from Isis controlled countries and  It must control tiny Jordan in order to get to and destroy its primary target Israel .even without controlling Jordan it already has Petra on its destruction list and is close enough to launch a terrorist attack .

Isis is on the borders of Turkey and has some support in the country from well organised terrosist factions that have already launched audacious attacks on Christian villages and border sites.Turkey the gateway to Europe is in very real danger from within and without and like polands peril  in the 1930 the countries of Euroe and the government of the USA are doing nothing to help it .

Even Egypt is falling  under its influence and has enough fundamentalist factions to see Terrorist attacks on major sites ,people have now forgotten massacres such as that of  Luxor InThe temple of Hatusept ,where over 60 tourist were killed ,this is an obvious enough target  for further attacks being not only a site with offensive imagery but also one built by a powerful female pharaoh ,,while it has also stated its intention to destroy the pyramids,Eygpts heritage is in peril .

In the rest of Europe we should be clear priceless sites are at risk and protect them with increased security ,the great Mezquita of Córdoba is an obviously example as a Christian church which is housed in a famous and important mosque ,,while in the Uk  and elsewhere museums housing treasures from now destroyed sites should be a priority for governments protection and police and funds made available to implement more tight security measures.

we should also pay attention to the threaten sites locations ,as its true.y a warning from history ,that Isis can make credible threats to sites of historical interest shows it has confidence that it can successfully gain land and ventualy control in those countries ,it’s advances has been fast and it’s progress inexorable ,we need to be aware that the freedom of free nations  is in danger not just in the middle and Far East but in Europe.

But for the the present ,,what do we choose to protect what site is one too many and what do we do ,,does the destruction of any place or object justify the shedding of human blood?

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About hathawaysofhaworth

I am a Historian and author living in the north
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