Photo by Erich Lessing

Once carved on a gateway leading into the palace of the Assyrian king Sennacherib (704–681 B.C.) in Nineveh, modern Iraq, this guardian demon is now in the British Museum. Over the last decade, sculptures like this one—especially such finely shaped heads—have been plundered from Iraqi sites and offered for sale on the antiquities market. In “Plundering Iraq: Should Looted Antiquities Be Returned to Rogue States?” Archaeology Odyssey editor Hershel Shanks asks art historian John Malcolm Russell, What exactly is going on in Iraq, and how do we deal with stolen antiquities?