by Jennifer Martin
At first sight, the museum is rather small and bear. Supposedly, the...a...some government required most of the country's heirlooms to be transported to the museum in Baghdad. Regardless, the Slemani Museum holds artifacts dating back to the Palaeothic period, approx. 15,000 BC, and traces history in the Mesopotamia region from that period through to present-day. Similar to most places in Iraqi Kurdistan, the rules at the museum were fairly lax. Rather than enforcing the rule banning photography, the workers instructed us to turn off our camera flash.
The museum's highlight is a 1st millennium BC pottery coffin found near Dohuk containing the skeletal remains of a woman.
The second highlight of the museum, in my opinion, were the collection of women figurines dating from the Babylonian period. Apparently, men in those days like the stylized look.
After viewing the exhibition, we planned to grab lunch and head to another museum [of sorts]. Just as we stepped foot out of the door, a rather large, white, old, American dude briskly walked after us. We turned, and he stuck out his hand to introduce himself as [insert name I can't remember], some big-shot at UNESCO. His massive, gold pinkie-ring was also prominently displayed. "Mr. Smith," as we'll call him, explained that he wanted to renovate the museum in order to transform it into a major tourist attraction.
He then clarified his preoccupation with us, "Well, we don't have tourists around here very often. I wanted to get your opinion on the museum."
While Bobby and Steve provided some much-needed feedback, I had other intentions. I racked my brain for a dignified way of asking for a job, aside from falling to the ground, clutching his leg, and groveling, "Please, Please, Please, PLEEEEAAASE!" until he acquiesced. Ultimately, I decided that wasn't in my best interests. Something about the gold pinkie-ring just rubbed me the wrong way.
You can read more by Jennifer here: http://jennifersblog85.blogspot.com/.
More by Jennifer MartinOperation: Cross the Border
Erbil - Old-School Iraq
Erbil by Day and Sulaymaniyah in the Evening
Amna Suraka (Red Security)
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