According to Archaeology.com the U.S Military has issued 40,000 decks of cards to troops featuring archaelogical sites. The cards are part of a larger archaeology awareness program for soldiers.
According to Fort Drum archaeologist Laurie Rush, there purpose is twofold: to prevent unnecessary damage to ancient sites and to stem the illegal trade of artifacts in Iraq. Each suite has a theme:
- diamonds for artifacts,
- spades for digs,
- hearts for "winning hearts and minds," and
- clubs for heritage preservation.
Educational playing cards is not a new tactic, we all know the infamous 'Most Wanted' deck from a few years ago and as far back as WW2 soldiers were issued with cards featuring the silhouettes of planes.
Hopefully these cards will assist in perserving archaeological treasures and will give an enhanced and positive new spin to the the term 'playing for keeps'.