Why America?

I am reading about the history of food. Early in the book is a description of a meat stew that hails from modern-day Iraq. We know this recipe from a clay tablet that was discovered in near perfect shape with the recipe on it. Kewl! In the description of this, it was stated there were many such tablets found.

Many such stone tablets have lasted and survived more or less intact. At the New England university of Yale, a large number of tablets are stored as part of its Babylonian Collection, among some 40,000 artifacts acquired by the university in 1933.

As I was reading it, it dawned on me, “Why would the United States possess these ruins?” I’ll stipulate I have no idea how we came into possession of these, and there could easily be a sound explanation.

On its surface, however, it seems odd. Taking (presumed) valuable relics from another country seems like not the neighborly thing to do. For instance, we wouldn’t expect Iraq to have a collection of George Washington letters.

It’s just one of those things that popped in my head. Again, plenty of reasons why we would have them, but it did cross my mind as though perhaps we shouldn’t.

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