Archaeology awareness playing cards
The archaeology awareness playing cards are a set of playing cards developed by the United States Department of Defense designed to educate members of the United States military serving in Iraq and Afghanistan about the importance of respecting ancient monuments, to try to preserve the Iraqi and Afghan national cultural heritage. The goal of the publication of the cards was two-fold according to Fort Drum archaeologist Laurie Rush - to prevent unnecessary damage to ancient sites and to stem the illegal trade of artifacts in Iraq. The military has long recognized that educational playing cards are a good way to capitalize on the time soldiers spend waiting for orders.
They were devised following the success of the most-wanted Iraqi playing cards (officially called "personality identification playing cards") that were used in the 2003 invasion of Iraq to help members of the U.S. military identify wanted personnel from the Baathist regime. Approximately 40,000 sets of the cards were issued to U.S. forces. In the archaeology deck, each suit has a theme: diamonds for artifacts, spades for digs, hearts for "winning hearts and minds," and clubs for heritage preservation.
About the cards
- "Ancient walls of mud brick are easily damaged."
- Lewisburg Furnace, Fort Drum, New York, United States of America. "Many DoD sites in the US have protected archaeological sites. Learn more about your home installation."
- "Use a monitor when digging in archaeologically sensitive areas."
- "Stop digging if you find artifacts or features."
- "Heavy excavation equipment can do great harm to archaeological sites. Be aware and prepare to stop."
- "Helicopter rotor wash can damage archaeological sites. Avoid where possible."
- "Every DoD installation has a cultural resources manager. Call yours with questions about archaeology, history, or culture."
- "Taking pictures is good. Removing artifacts for souvenirs is not!"
- "Use your camera to document archaeological and historic sites."
- "A looted archaeological site means that details of our common past are lost forever."
- "If possible, fill sandbags with clean earth, free of man-made objects."
- "Leave artifacts like broken pottery or inscribed bricks in place."
- Qalai Bost, Afghanistan. "In the dry climate of the Middle East, a wall of mud brick could be thousands of years old."
- "The DoD needs your help in protecting heritage resources."
- this international symbol for a PROTECTED CULTURAL SITE." "Remember
- "Remember! The buying and selling of antiquities is not condoned by the U.S. Armed Forces."
- "Ancient cultural artifacts and objects of art are also heritage resources that must be protected."
- Tell Rimah, Iraq. "A mound or small hill in an otherwise flat landscape could be a sign of ancient human occupation."
- Bent Minaret, Mosul's Great Mosque, Iraq. "Future generations will be thankful for the monuments and sites spared today."
- Great Ziggurat of Ur, Iraq. "Stop digging immediately you find buried walls, broken pottery, or other artifacts. Report what you find!" Ancient walls near
- Ctesiphon Arch, Iraq. "This site has survived for seventeen centuries. Will it survive you?".
- Samarra Minaret (Malwiya), Iraq. "Respect ruins wherever possible. They protect you and your cultural history."
- "Drive around - not over - archaeological sites".
- "Look before you dig!"
- graffiti! Defacing walls or ruins with spray paint or other materials is disrespectful and counterproductive to the mission" "No
- Jonah of the bible [sic] was buried in this hill." (Naba Yunis Mosque in Mosul, Iraq) "Ancient Iraqi heritage is part of your heritage. Old stories say that
- "The main goal of archaeology is to understand the past - your past."
- "If it's a defensible position today, it may have been for thousands of years. Watch for archaeological remains."
- "Archaeological sites matter to the local community. Showing respect wins hearts and minds."
- "Local elders may be a good source of information about cultural heritage and archaeology."
- Bamian Buddhas in Afghanistan, are often targets for intentional destruction during times of conflict." Buddhas of Bamyan, Bamiyan Province, Afghanistan. "Religious monuments, such as the
- Bible's Tower of Babel referred to an Iraqi Ziggurat." Great Ziggurat of Ur, Iraq. "The
- Fertile Crescent between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. Humans first created agricultural settlements here over 8,000 years ago." "Iraq's civilisation originated in the
- Cradle of Civilisation." Illustration of the Northwest Palace Throne Room at Nimrud, Iraq. "Iraq has been described as the "
- legal code was found in Iraq on a stone carved with an image of Hammurabi, King of Babylon, ca. 1760 B.C." The world's oldest complete
- "Protecting archaeological sites helps preserve them for future generations."
- "Protecting art and archaeology is the responsibility of all ranks within a unit."
- Hoard of Sumerian statues, Tell Asmar, Iraq. "To understand the meaning of an artifact, it must be found and studied in its original setting."
- Samarra, Iraq. "Ninety-nine percent of mankind's history can only be understood through archaeology". Ancient ruins at
- "Buying looted artifacts is forbidden. These objects will be confiscated if discovered."
- Hadda in Afghanistan has been heavily looted for sale on the illegal market." "Buddhist statuary from
- Bamian Buddhas in Afghanistan, should be preserved in place for all humankind." Buddhas of Bamyan, Bamiyan Province, Afghanistan. "Monumental art, such as the
- Statue of Liberty, New York City, United States of America. "How would you feel if someone stole her torch?"
- Mesopotamia is considered the birthplace of writing. Clay tablets such as this one are primary evidence." Ancient cuneiform tablet from Nippur, Iraq. "
- Iraq Museum." Mask of Warka. "The Joint Interagency Task Force recovered more than 5,000 artifacts, including this one stolen from the
- Iraq Museum in the years, months, and weeks before the war." "The Joint Interagency Task Force recovered 62,000 artifacts removed from the
- Kabul Museum, Afghanistan. "Museums are also victims of warfare and need protection where possible."
- "Thousands of artifacts are disappearing from Iraq and Afghanistan. Report suspicious behaviour."
- "Looters leave destructive holes and tunnels throughout archaeological sites. Report all observed war damage and looting."
- OIC any observed looting activity or attempts to sell or purchase ancient artifacts." "Report to your
- insurgents. Do not buy them!" "Purchasing ancient "souvenirs" helps fund
- Cylinder seals look like carved pieces of chalk. As with other artifacts, do not buy them!" cylinder seals "
The set also contained other cards such as the jokers that provided additional information about heritage preservation.
On November 7, 2007, the DoD program, entitled "In-Theater Heritage Training for Deploying Personnel", was awarded the "Chairman's Award" from the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, an independent federal agency that promotes the preservation, enhancement, and productive use of the United States of America's historic resources, and advises the President and Congress on national historic preservation policy.
- "Archaeological playing cards for troops developed by CSU's CEMML". Today @ Colorado State. Colorado State University. 2007-10-30. Archived from the original on 2012-02-09.
Nearly 50,000 decks of cards, weighing more than 10,000 pounds, are stored in a Loveland, Colo., warehouse where they will be shipped to troops in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as training installations around the United States.
- Schlesinger, Victoria (July–August 2007). "Desert Solitaire". Archaeology. Archaeological Institute of America. 60 (4).
In the archaeology deck, each suit has a theme: diamonds for artifacts, spades for digs, hearts for "winning hearts and minds," and clubs for heritage preservation.
- "08-09-07cardsuitspuzzlessm.pdf" (PDF). U.S. Department of Defense Acquisition and Sustainment. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-03-06.
- DoD Receives Chairman's Award From Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, Press release No. 1285-07, Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs), U.S. Department of Defense. November 06, 2007
- Vallen, Mark (June 20, 2007). "Archaeology Awareness Playing Cards". Art for a Change.
- Vittrup, Meghan (June 22, 2007). "Program Seeks to Preserve History With Playing Cards". American Forces Press Service. Archived from the original on 2009-02-16.