Friday, December 21, 2007

EBay stops auction of 4,000-year-old artifact
A 4,000-year-old clay tablet that was "with great probability" illegally smuggled out of Iraq was pulled from eBay minutes before the close of the online auction, the authorities said Tuesday.

Criminal proceedings had started against the seller, identified only as a resident of Zurich, the officials said.

A German archaeologist spotted the tablet, bearing wedge-shaped cuneiform script, on the online auctioneer's Swiss Web site,, a government official said.

The archaeologist alerted the German authorities, who passed the tip on to their Swiss counterparts, said Yves Fischer, director of the Swiss Federal Office of Culture's department on commerce in cultural objects.

I should start trolling eBay for stuff like that. I'm not sure if I ever have. . . .