Post-Revolution, looting in Egypt continues in a systemic way

..reports have started to come in of sophisticated and systematic looting occurring across major Egyptian archaeological sites, according to Egyptian and U.S. officials involved in the repatriation of antiquities.
The number of illegal excavations and thefts has worsened to the point that groups are organizing heavy machinery to carry out extensive digs.
“This wasn’t just someone taking their shovels and digging holes in the sand,” said Deborah Lehr, chairman of the Capitol Archaeological Institute at George Washington University, who has been charged with helping the Egyptian government protect its antiquities. “These were bulldozers, and gangs of men over a period of time.”
Illegal digs have long been a problem for Egypt, where 5,000 years of history lie buried: but since the start of the uprising against Mr. Mubarak in early 2011, the number has ballooned. The collapse of security has emboldened criminals to target landmark areas without fear of reprisals. Illegal digging has taken place near the Great Pyramids in Giza and the grand temples of the southern city of Luxor.
Satellite images from before and after the revolution show a marked increase in looter holes: in fact, parts of the landscape are starting to look like “Swiss cheese,” Ms. Lehr said.

Photo via Derek Fincham: Human Remains Exposed to the Elements at El Hibeh
Read more at the NYT.

Post-Revolution, looting in Egypt continues in a systemic way

..reports have started to come in of sophisticated and systematic looting occurring across major Egyptian archaeological sites, according to Egyptian and U.S. officials involved in the repatriation of antiquities.

The number of illegal excavations and thefts has worsened to the point that groups are organizing heavy machinery to carry out extensive digs.

“This wasn’t just someone taking their shovels and digging holes in the sand,” said Deborah Lehr, chairman of the Capitol Archaeological Institute at George Washington University, who has been charged with helping the Egyptian government protect its antiquities. “These were bulldozers, and gangs of men over a period of time.”

Illegal digs have long been a problem for Egypt, where 5,000 years of history lie buried: but since the start of the uprising against Mr. Mubarak in early 2011, the number has ballooned. The collapse of security has emboldened criminals to target landmark areas without fear of reprisals. Illegal digging has taken place near the Great Pyramids in Giza and the grand temples of the southern city of Luxor.

Satellite images from before and after the revolution show a marked increase in looter holes: in fact, parts of the landscape are starting to look like “Swiss cheese,” Ms. Lehr said.

Photo via Derek FinchamHuman Remains Exposed to the Elements at El Hibeh

Read more at the NYT.

  1. goldenisis reblogged this from archaeology and added:
    y
  2. trials-of-socrates reblogged this from cyaziris and added:
    That’s heartbreaking.
  3. itsnotovertonight reblogged this from gwebarchaeology
  4. cyaziris reblogged this from archaeology and added:
    Seen this on many sites. It ranges from simply digging pits to giant holes in the ground. the site Kom K in the Faiyum...
  5. snowthunder reblogged this from archaeology
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  14. avmutter reblogged this from archaeology and added:
    This is such an absolute shame. Such rich history being destroyed.
  15. brian-my-left-testicle reblogged this from archaeology and added:
    This is quite disturbing and very worrisome
  16. texasdreamer01 reblogged this from littleworthy
  17. merytmut reblogged this from archaeology and added:
    O:LGHWLGHSULIHULWG ALL OF MY RAAAAAGE
  18. zibidil reblogged this from archaeology
  19. practicingparrhesia reblogged this from archaeology and added:
    History is so important. This is sad.
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