ISIS Destroys Priceless Ancient Artifacts

ISIS continues to destroy precious ancient artifacts at an Assyrian archeological site, as well as the centuries history and culture that they embodied.

An Assyrian relief at Nimrud, Iraq from 725 BC (The Guardian; c. Steven Vidler/Eurasia Press/Corbis)

History is what pushes us forward and changes our actions. History is what allows our future actions to be more satisfactory to us than those we experienced in the past. By utilizing and memorizing our past, we can learn many things and jump closer to reaching that previously unattainable goal. But there are people out there who do not understand the importance of history and how it affects our everyday lives. There are people out there who destroy our history and furthermore prevent anyone from learning anything about the past, thus stunting our advancements. One group in particular, a terrorist group named ISIS, has been destroying ancient artifacts that we have been so caring of.

Footage of militants destroying the ancient Assyrian city of Nimrud. (Associated Press)

On March 6th, ISIS caused irreparable destruction to the archeological site at the ancient city of Nimrud in Iraq.  On March 7th, 2015, ISIS obliterated the fortress in Hatra, which had stood for over 2,000 years. On March 8th, 2015, ISIS raided the city of Khorsabad, a city that had over a 2,800 year history. They destroyed priceless artifacts, and old, cultural structures.

But that’s not all. ISIS has been destroying all the history that we have been so cautious with. The history that we wished to preserve for future generations. But now, this history has disappeared. All the work and effort went into creating the structures and preserving it had gone to waste. We are losing our grasp on our history. And to forget one’s history, is to forget one’s identity.

Potential archeological sites at risk.

People all around the world, regardless of occupation, cry out in horror as they see this destruction. ISIS on the other hand say it’s for religious purposes, but does that really make sense? To destroy the history of humankind just because it interferes with their religion? Does the existence of some mere statues bother ISIS that much?


The answer is no. ISIS has only one intent. Their sole goal is to increase their numbers. But to do so, they need the resources first. They will most likely sell these items on the black marke, and continually destroy and steal artifacts for their own benefit. But we must stop them before it’s too late; before we forget who we are.


– Andy Yang (’16)

Header: Associated Press

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