Monday 16 September 2013

Coptic archaeological site wrecked

In Minya governorate, due to the lack of security, looters of archaeological sites have been targeting the area looking for new spoils. The latest attack has targeted a Coptic monastery complex at Ansana. The damage is described by Monica Hanna:
“The rock cut monastic site of Ansana in Eastern Mallawi is being systematically looted. Looters use dynamite at a fourth century church in search of treasures. A lot of the monastic caves probably date to an earlier period where demotic inscriptions are still visible. The whole area is full of Coptic, Syriac and Greek inscriptions that have not been completely studied and documented. The southern monastic community that is built of mud brick is being bulldozed and its western side is taken over by land mafia for agricultural reclamation and is the cause of the Matryria section to be completely lost. The site is at a very high risk of being totally destroyed over the next few months”. Sadly it seems that these attacks on archaeological sites will continue unless proper security forces are deployed to protect them.
'Coptic archaeological site wrecked', Daily News Egypt September 15, 2013.

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