Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Egyptian Authorities Retrieve Stolen "Hyksos Coins"

Some good news from Egypt, Al-Ahram reports:
a committee from the ministry of state for antiquities (MSA) approved the authenticity of five bronze coins and twenty-two clay vessels which were found in the possession of Bedouins at the canal city of Port Fouad. Youssef Khalifa, head of the archaeological committee, told Ahram Online that the newly recovered objects were among the objects reported missing from Qantara East warehouses following the security vacuum that overwhelmed Egypt following the January revolution. Mohamed Abdel Maqsoud, secretary general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA), said that these objects were among those on the red list submitted to Interpol in hopes of retrieving all the missing objects. He pointed out that the five bronze coins date to the Hyksos era while the clay pots go back to the Ptolemaic period which were all found at Al-Mansheya archaeological site in Ismailia.
The Hyksos of course did not strike coins. Port Fuad is just across the Suez Canal from Port Said - were these items taken here in order to smuggle them out of Egypt? If so, how many have already left? There were reportedly some 800 objects stolen from the storerooms in Al Qantarah El Sharqiyya, on the Suez Canal 50 km south of Port Said. Note the ethnic qualification of the people concerned, they were "Bedouins".

Nevine El-Aref ,'Stolen Egyptian coins and pots from Hyksos era and the Ptolemaic period recovered', Al-Ahram 13 Jul 2011.

UPDATE from Zahi Hawass' blog, 14thJuly 2011:

Press Release: Seized Artifacts
A committee, formed by the Ministry of State for Antiquities (MSA), has confirmed that the artifacts seized this week are those stolen from the museum magazine of eastern Qantara during the lawlessness on 28th January 2011. Dr. Zahi Hawass, Minister of State for Antiquities, said that the committee, directed by Dr. Yosef Khalifa, examined each artifact in Case No. 127 of 2011 / Port Fouad and compared them to those listed in the Red List. The Red List, compiled by the International Council of Museums, catalogues Egyptian cultural objects at risk. It was submitted to Interpol and distributed internationally. Dr. Hawass added that the artifacts (22 in total) include rare pottery dating back to the age of the Hyksos and five bronze coins dating to the Ptolemaic era. Dr. Mohamed Abdel-Maksoud, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, confirmed that the artifacts seized had been listed on the Red List apart from the Ptolemaic era coins. The Qantara museum magazine near the city of Ismailia on the Suez Canal was attacked on 28th January by looters. Almost 300 artifacts have been returned to date, the majority by good citizens.


Paul Barford said...

I loved this exchange between Cline (the Director of the Capitol Archaeological Institute) and an anti-Hawass egyptologist:
Eric Cline Hmmm...didn't know that the Hyksos had coins...
6 godz. temu · Lubię to!Nie lubię

Nicole Hansen Since some people have been working really hard to exaggerate the looting problem and paint Zahi as a savior, it should come as no surprise to you that he has managed to retrieve things that don't exist.
5 godz. temu · Lubię to!

A bit of a sly dig because of course Cline was in Egypt not long ago with the aim of helping stop the looting. I personally do not think it has been "exaggerated", I think we are not being told the half of it.

Paul Barford said...

that was on facebook

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