Archaeology treasures from the cradle of civilization

Iraq's national museum, home to some of the world's most precious artifacts of ancient Mesopotamia, is still far from ready for a public re-opening, ten years after it was looted and smashed by frenzied thieves during the U.S.-led invasion in 2003 to topple Saddam Hussein,

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    A cosmetic container carved from stone, found near Ur

    April 2, 2013: A cosmetic container carved from stone, found near Ur is displayed at the Iraqi National Museum in Baghdad, Iraq. The museum is home to some of the world's most precious artifacts of ancient Mesopotamia. Yet ten years after it was looted and smashed by frenzied thieves during the U.S.-led invasion in 2003 to topple Saddam Hussein, it's still far from ready for a public re-opening. 
    AP Photo/Hadi Mizban
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    School students visit the restored Iraqi National Museum in Baghdad, Iraq

    April 2, 2013: School students visit the restored Iraqi National Museum in Baghdad, Iraq. Work to overcome decades of neglect and the destruction of war has been hindered by power struggles, poorly-skilled staff and the persistent violence plaguing the country, said Bahaa Mayah, Iraq's most senior antiquities official.
    AP Photo/Hadi Mizban
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    A panel showing a lion symbolizing the goddess of love from the Ishtar gate in Babylon

    April 3, 2013: A panel composed of glazed nicks showing in bas relief a lion, symbolizing Ishtar, the goddess of love and war, from the Ishtar gate, Babylon dating to Nabuchadnessar (650-562.B.C.).
    AP Photo/Hadi Mizban
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    A statue of a woman from the Kingdom of Nimrod from the ninth century B.C.

    April 3, 2013: A statue of a woman from the Kingdom of Nimrod from the ninth century B.C. is displayed at the Iraqi National Museum in Baghdad, Iraq.
    AP Photo/Hadi Mizban
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    A limestone statue of a woman dressed with a cloak, found at Hatra

    April 3, 2013: A limestone statue of a woman dressed with a cloak, found at Hatra is displayed at the Iraqi National Museum in Baghdad, Iraq.
    AP Photo/Hadi Mizban
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    A sign next to a skeleton in the Sumerian room of Iraq's national museum

    April 3, 2013: A sign next to a skeleton in the Sumerian room of Iraq's national museum refers to its age as "dated to very old time." Oddly-written signs, often missing key information of the artifacts they refer to, are one of the problems ridding this cultural heritage site.
    AP Photo/Diaa Hadid
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    A carved stone vessel found in the Ur area from the early 3rd millennium B.C.

    April 2, 2013: A carved stone vessel found in the Ur area from the early 3rd millennium B.C. is displayed at the Iraqi National Museum in Baghdad, Iraq.
    AP Photo/Hadi Mizban
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    A limestone slab showing the water god, Ea, receiving a minor deity

    April 2, 2013: A limestone slab showing in the center the water god, Ea, receiving a minor deity, is displayed at the national museum in Baghdad, Iraq.
    AP Photo/Hadi Mizban
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    A school student visits the restored Iraqi National Museum in Baghdad, Iraq

    April 2, 2013: A school student visits the restored Iraqi National Museum in Baghdad, Iraq.
    AP Photo/Hadi Mizban
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    Stone figures depicting the family of Sanatruq the 1st, found at Hatra

    April 3, 2013: Stone figures depicting the family of Sanatruq the 1st, found at Hatra, are displayed at the Iraqi National Museum in Baghdad, Iraq.
    AP Photo/Hadi Mizban
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