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Re: Baghdad Museum of Natural History?

As the founder of the Iran National Museum of Natural History
(Muzeh-ye-Melli-ye-Tarikh-e-Tabi'i: "MMTT" in published zoological and
paleontolgical accounts) in Tehran,
I can say with some confidence that Iraq (next door to me at the time, so to
speak) had no such similar institutions. My (tenuous) contacts with Iraqi
colleagues at the time revealed no indications of such an establishment.
There perhaps are, or were, or yet may be, local or regional collections or

I also served on an international museum committee (ICOM) in New Delhi,
India, which surveyed the status of natural hisotry museums in south and
south-west Asia. Iraqi delegates were conspicuously absent.

Museums of Archeology in both countries, have long histories. Zoos and
botanical gardens can be traced back to the "paradises" (Persian word:
*pardis*; plural *pardisan*) of ancient Mesopotamia (e.g., the fabled
Hanging Gardens of Babylon) and Persia. See also my paper (with Raul Valdez)
and popular articles on the "mystery beast of Persepolis." Indeed, my
efforts were in support of a hundred-million-dollar environmental project
named "PARDISAN" for the late Shah of Iran.

As far as I can determine, the MMTT has survived the depredations of the
'Ayatollahs and their minyons and the Iran-Iraq War of 1980-88.

-= Tuck =-

----- Original Message -----
From: <MKIRKALDY@aol.com>
To: <dinosaur@usc.edu>
Sent: Tuesday, April 08, 2003 2:29 PM
Subject: Baghdad Museum of Natural History?

> Is there (was there?) a Baghdad Museum of Natural History?  I see mention
of a museum before the Gulf War, but it seems to have housed archaeological
treasures.  Were there any fossils/dinosaur specimens?
> Mary