Tuesday 29 May 2012

Looters in Aswan, Luxor, Esna, Saqqara and Just up the Road from Giza

The Egypt Independent is reporting on some police investigations of looting in Upper Egypt based on a tip-off. Three sites are mentioned. Luxor, Esna (two incidents) and Aswan.  Tourism and antiquities police seized 17 artefacts of the Roman era and arrested those with them in their possession.
"The relics include pots, parts of a painting, a censer and pieces of stoneware.  Excavators had dug a 10-meter deep hole in the ground to retrieve them".
Last week Police recovered 35 pharaonic artefacts which had been buried in sand close to the Horemhab funerary complex in the Saqqara Necropolis apparently for later recovery by the thieves. They seem to have included several "statuettes" (shabtis?) of green faience.
According to police, the objects were stolen from neighbouring archaeological sites during the uprising. The thieves, police speculate, had been planning to smuggle the objects out of the country at a later date. 
Nevine El-Aref , 'Police recover pharaonic artefacts stolen in wake of revolution', Al-Ahram 22 May 2012.

Meanwhile it seems that damage has been done to the site at Abu Rawash (Abu Roash) near Giza (.
www.almasryalyoum.com) The French Mission building there has been badly damaged (including having its gate torn off). It seems a village has been erected over part of the archaeological site, and six villas on the high ground. Excavations for sewer pipes going on. Even though the land was owned by the SCA, it has been sold off to people as building land by certain 'entreprenuers'. Looting of artefacts is going on using hired labour and earthmoving equipment. Thugs are threatening people who protest, and the looters are posting guards on perimeters to keep intruders away. The area has now become very dangerous. What however is not clear is where exactly this is and what its actual extent is with regard the ancient remains. 

Looting at 

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