Friday, August 03, 2007

Preservation on Deck

The latest decks of playing cards being distributed to U.S. soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan do not contain images of the top enemy insurgents like their immediate predecessors. Rather, in a move to preserve ancient sites and stem the illegal trade of artifacts from war-torn areas, soldiers preparing for deployment at Fort Drum, New York are receiving decks of playing cards containing an archaeological theme by suit: diamonds/artifacts, spades/digs, hearts/winning hearts and minds, and clubs/heritage preservation. The "Desert Solitaire" cards are not a new idea for giving soldiers a useful way to spend off-duty time. During World War II soldiers received cards with silhouettes of Allied and Axis fighter planes.