Mesopotamia, the land between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, is considered the cradle of civilization. The modern country of Iraq is geographically located in this ancient land. Iraq’s history and the history one of the world’s oldest societies, has been in serious danger since the beginning of the Iraq war in 2003. Following the US invasion, the National museum was looted and even though much of the collection was recovered, many important archeological artifacts will probably never be found. Bombing, looting and inadvertent destruction of important archeological sites and historical monuments has only made the situation worse. In response to the desperate pleas of archeologists and historians worldwide, the United States military, in conjunction with intellectuals, experts, as well as archeologists, and anthropologists, from within their own ranks, have developed new strategies in order keep this rich cultural heritage from being destroyed. A deck of cards has been distributed to soldiers serving in Iraq that is meant to promote awareness of this important issue.  Each card has a brief statement and/or illustrations of important archeological artifacts, such as the Original inscription of  Hammurabi’s code, the world’s oldest known written legal code. The seven of clubs pictures Iraq's Ctesiphon Arch with the caption: "This site has survived 17 centuries. Will it and the others survive you?” The queen of hearts makes a bold statement about the importance of culture, and points out that these ancient sites are important to the local community. “Showing respect wins hearts and minds,” Of course, for any soldier staying alive is always of the first order, but the Army is definitely showing that preserving the cultural roots of Iraq has become a priority the four of hearts sums up their feelings, "Protecting art and archaeology is the responsibility of all ranks within the unit."

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