Saturday, 11 May 2019

Egypt 2011: Abydos Fake Tank Anecdote

In the first days of the Arab Spring in 2011, police protection vanished, leaving archeological sites vulnerable to looters. Only one man had a plan (Peter Hessler, 'How Egypt Used a Fake Tank to Save Its History From Thieves', Daily Beast 5th May 2010)
Within hours of the foreigners’ departure, looters appeared in the Buried. The dig house employed private guards, who typically called the authorities if there was a serious problem. But now the police didn’t respond. The guards chased off the first thieves, and a few hours later, at two o’clock in the morning, a larger band of men arrived. Their faces were covered by masks and they carried tools for excavation. They confronted the guards, warning them that they would be killed if they didn’t abandon the site.
From:  Peter Hessler, ' The Buried: An Archaeology of the Egyptian Revolution', Penguin Press 2019

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