back to article eBay: A tale of two listings

An eBay auction for a clay tablet was pulled just minutes before it was scheduled to close, after authorities flagged it as a 4,000-year-old endangered cultural object that was illegally smuggled out of Iraq. A German archaeologist spotted the tablet bearing wedge-shaped cuneiform script on eBay's Swiss website. The tip …


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  1. Colin Wilson

    it's amazing

    The amount of clearly dodgy items they have on there, yet they managed to successfully pull this one.

    ...if only they figured out how to do this for every other dodgy item reported to them.

  2. Anonymous Coward

    its not amazing

    .if only they figured out how to do this for every other dodgy item reported to them....

    then their business model would suddenly crash and our western rubbish tips would suddenly increase in size. No hold on - the rubbish would be outsourced...

  3. Mr Larrington
    Paris Hilton

    What would be amazing...

    ...would be if the vendor is still allowed access to ebay. A certain person whom I shall not name for legal reasons has been thrown off ebay for all eternity for the heinous crime of attempting to sell two discs containing twenty-five million names and addresses, property of HMRC.

  4. Slaine


    ...maybe if they had working security links and employed someone to actually read emails sent to them and then acted on the information they were provided with, or worked WITH the law enforcement officers, but no, it takes a foreign government to get through to them that there might just be some criminal activity about...

    In my own experience [deleted] and [deleted] before [deleted] and there was absolutely no reply. After 3 months the sales had been completed and still I have had no reply some 2 years later.

    oh, and ebay IS outsourcing rubbish.

    Wonder what I can get for this old barber jacket?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    "A balancing act deciding what auctions get pulled"

    An illegal auction was pulled, a legal auction wasn't pulled. What's this balancing act?

  6. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    Wouldn't it be fun...

    If, when the cuneiform is decoded, it turned out to be someone's tax records?

    Hammurabi has a lot to answer for...

  7. GT


    Golly, he did well if his entire punishment was being thrown off ebay for selling HMRC property.

    Hadn't seen this icon before so I decided to randomly choose it ...

  8. Graham Dawson Silver badge

    It's possibly ironic...

    It's very likely that the clay tablet in question is a receipt or bill of sale. A large number of the tablets dug up in the middle east are receipts, stock lists, shopping lists and inventories.

    Might even be a receipt for a dodgy auction...

  9. Anonymous Coward

    Lets hope that when it's translated ...

    It doesn't read "hello, I'm bored tonight, can I see your profile as I've loads of V1@gr@"

    Or "Come to Ali's pole dancing club"

    Coat, get me a camel...

  10. Ken Hagan Gold badge

    IQ tests

    I thought IQ was supposed to measure the bit that you *can't* improve by coaching and that's what made the concept useful.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    RE: IQ tests

    Nah...the more times you do an IQ test, the better score you'll get.

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