Monday, 2 May 2011

Kent Weeks: Can Egypt protect its ancient monuments?

See this must read article in Newsweek by Kent Weeks.  The post-revolution elation in Egypt has a masked a disturbing uptick in archeological plunder, he says.

“Antiquities theft is as old as the pyramids, but never before has it so shocked Egyptians. The Egyptian press voiced the public’s revulsion at the desecration, and hundreds of youthful protestors and ordinary citizens in Cairo and Luxor volunteered to stand guard at museums and archeological sites. It was a noble gesture but a futile one. There are simply too many sites to protect in such an ad hoc way,” he writes.


  1. Perhaps a new approach is needed to guard Egypt's monuments and unexplored tells. Militias guarded neighborhoods during the "Revolution".

    If communities were educated about the significance of ancient works in Egypt similar groups would have formed to protect the sites when the authorities left. Perhaps those groups could also be useful in exploring sites if trained in the techniques of the professionals, and then alert the experts when something is found. I am told that this is the case in Iran.

  2. Hi. Chuck.

    Good idea. It would protect ancient sites and create employment.



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