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Iraq welcomes return of foreign archaeological missions

Iraq has signed a contract with a British exploration mission for further excavation at the historic Tell Khaiber site west of Nasiriyah.
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BAGHDAD — Under a new contract between the General Authority of Iraqi Antiquities and Britain, a British exploration mission to the historic Tell Khaiber site west of Nasiriyah arrived Jan. 16. Iraqis are hoping that excavations will resume at about 17,000 sites, 1,200 of which are found in the province of Dhi Qar in the south, mostly dating back to the era of the dawn of dynasties (2800 B.C.), the Sumerian, Akkadian, Babylonian civilizations, and the Islamic era.

In Iraq's south, there are about 623 of these sites in Babylon, 200 partly buried in Karbala province and 200 discovered ancient sites in Najaf. It is thought that the completion of surveys could cause these numbers to double.

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