The cradle of civilization and agriculture. The first place humans built cities. The birthplace of writing. And—oh, yeah—currently the best place in the world to get yourself kidnapped or killed. For archaeologists, there’s no plum like Iraq. Saddam actually let them do their job, and he even protected his country’s heritage in museums. But now no archaeologist can work in Iraq until security improves. Meanwhile more than 8,500 treasures have been stolen, and those are just from museums, where artifacts are cataloged.