Her Considerable Obliquity (gobsmacked) wrote in ancientegypt,
Her Considerable Obliquity
gobsmacked
ancientegypt

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Heartbreak for those who love ancient Egypt

Reports are coming into facebook from people in Egypt that there is widespread looting and illegal digging south of Egypt at the ancient sites of Abusir and Sakkara.  A number of government storehouses in Qantarah and Sakkara and Abusir have been robbed.  Large gangs are digging illegally all around the area and have smashed into all sealed tombs.
Only the magazines near the Giza pyramids and the Imhotep Museum are guarded by the military.

In Luxor, the military is guarding the East Bank, but on the West Bank, the locals are trying to guard the tombs themselves.
There are no "tourist police" anywhere. 

On the up side of things: some digs are still in progress at Amheida (Dakhleh Oasis), Amarna, Abydos and elsewhere.  The Abydos people report all quiet so far, as do the Dakhleh Oasis dig.  I believe a few excavations are having study seasons in the Valley of the Kings.  From what I have heard of those archaeologists, they will defend the tombs with their lives.

For an update on the identification and discussion of the damage in the Cairo Museum, visit The Eloquent Peasant blog  If you area on facebook, you can get news from Restore + Save the Egyptian Museum

And very sadly: It seems likely that one of the mummies destroyed in the Museum looting was Yuya, grandfather of Akhenaten. CORRECTION: A British Egyptologist has said that he thinks that photo which seemed to show the mummy of Yuya vandalized was of another (non-royal) ancient Egyptian.

ETA
From Discovery News
Egyptians are bravely defending their cultural heritage, according to a statement from Ismail Serageldin, librarian of Alexandria and director of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina.

“The young people organized themselves into groups that directed traffic, protected neighborhoods and guarded public buildings of value such as the Egyptian Museum and the Library of Alexandria,” he said.

“The library is safe thanks to Egypt’s youth, whether they be the staff of the Library or the representatives of the demonstrators, who are joining us in guarding the building from potential vandals and looters,” Serageldin said.

From the blog of Zahi Hawass:
all the inspectors, young archaeologists, and administrators, are calling me from sites and museums all over Egypt to tell me that they will give their life to protect our antiquities. Many young Egyptians are in the streets trying to stop the criminals.
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