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Tomb Raiders Exploit Chaos in Egypt

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Egypt's cultural heritage is in danger. Grave robbers, sometimes heavily armed, are taking advantage of political chaos to plunder its poorly guarded archaeological sites. Authorities feel powerless to stop them and fear that ancient treasures might be lost forever.

A few hundred meters from the pyramids of Dahshur, the sandy-brown earth is full of holes. Dozens of open shafts lead into the depths, some up to seven meters (23 feet) long. Grave robbers have been at work. Lying belowground here in Dahshur is one of the oldest burial grounds in all of Egypt -- tombs, possibly full of treasures from the age of the pharaohs. Archaeologists have partially mapped it but never exhumed its contents, as is the case at many sites in Egypt.

From the pharaohs and Romans to the Greeks, Copts and Fatimids, Egypt bears the traces of many ancient civilizations. Not all of the treasures have been discovered and secured. Egypt has admittedly always had to grapple with the problem of grave-robbing. But since the revolution in 2011, "this phenomenon has increased even more," laments Abdel-Halim Nur el-Din, a professor of archaeology and the former head of the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA), the authority responsible for ancient relics and archaeological excavations in Egypt. "We are losing our cultural heritage piece by piece," he adds.

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Wasn't there a story like this few months ago or last year?

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Wasn't there a story like this few months ago or last year?

Every time a country with rich history plunges into chaos there is a story like this.

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Yes story earlier this year on this very subject.

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I can't imagine that any tomb hasn't been disturbed for thousands of years if anyone knew about it.

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Very sad. Important history will be lost because of these robber's.

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Posted (edited)

.

Edited by javierrodriquez

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Posted (edited)

pictures related to the story:

http://www.spiegel.d...ecke-99734.html

Edited by questionmark
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This is both shameful and heartbreaking! The broken mummy head on the museum floor looks particularly sad.

Security needs to be restored first, and then a larger budget should be allocated to the protection of archaeological sites. However, the problem will always remain, the temptation of the high black market prices of ancient artifacts coupled with periods of economic distress and political chaos will not go away in the near future. In certain areas of Upper Egypt, stumbling on artifacts by sheer coincidence is not unheard of. That the present education system practically ignores or glosses over the ancient history of Egypt thus 'splitting' Egypt's cultural identity is not helping either!

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Every time a country with rich history plunges into chaos there is a story like this.

Especially if Angelina Jolie is visiting.

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