Egypt's Dahshur ancient heritage under immediate threat

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Egypt's Dahshur ancient heritage under immediate threat

Post by DJKeefy » Mon Jan 14, 2013 4:48 am

Dahshur archaeological site, home of the first ever complete pyramid, is being plundered by vandals and thieves.

lack of security continues to negatively impact on Egypt’s archaeological sites. A few months ago, Ezbet Kheralla, in Old Cairo, home of early Islamic monuments, was subject to damage by neighbouring residents. Today is the turn of Dahshur.

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Inhabitants of Ezbet Dahshur invaded the archaeological zone adjacent to the Black Pyramid of King Amenemhat III with bulldozers and guns. They put their hands on the land and start digging a private cemetery on top of artefacts buried in sand. The area was a cemetery for ancient Egyptian nobles; a German excavation mission unearthed several funerary objects there.

Guards at the site confronted the invaders but their attempts to repell them failed due to lack of arms.

Nasser Ramadan, director general of Dahshur archaeological site, told Ahram Online that he and his team reported the incident to the police but they failed to intervene. Even the minister of state for antiquities failed to take any steps to stop the encroachment.

Ramadan added that Dahshur was subject to thugs and vandals since the January 25 Revolution due to a lack of security, but it was never like this before.

People also dig the sand in search of artefacts, which are sold on the black market, he said.

“Our heritage is in danger and nobody is rescuing it,” Ramadan pointed out, calling on all concerned authorities to move to save and protect Egypt’s ancient heritage.

Minister of State for Antiquities Mohamed Ibrahim expressed regret that the Tourism and Antiquities Police has insufficient forces to remove any encroachments on archaeological sites. What complicates the situation is that the invaders are armed.

"We will study a new mechanism to compel people not to encroach upon the archaeological area," he said.

Dahshur is a royal necropolis located in the desert on the west bank of the Nile almost 40 kilometres south of Cairo. It is known for its several pyramids, two of which belong to King Senefru, the founder of the 4th Dynasty and father of King Khufu, along with other pyramids and tombs of the Middle Kingdom, including the Black Pyramid of Amenemhat III and the White Pyramid of Amenemhat II.

It also has the 600 feddan wide lake of King Farouk which is filled in September, attracting different species of birds from all over the world.

Source: http://english.ahram.org.eg/News/62323.aspx


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Re: Egypt's Dahshur ancient heritage under immediate threat

Post by LovelyLadyLux » Mon Jan 14, 2013 6:35 am

Interesting

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Re: Egypt's Dahshur ancient heritage under immediate threat

Post by Bullet Magnet » Mon Jan 14, 2013 6:41 am

Taking back their land from the Archaeologists perhaps..... ?

Isn't that was was suppose to have happened to Armania ? allegedly the locals back in Victorian times destroyed the place ( not that there is any stones left ) because of th emassive influx of visitors disturbing their way of life and damaging their crops.. so I was told.. :urm:
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Re: Egypt's Dahshur ancient heritage under immediate threat

Post by LivinginLuxor » Mon Jan 14, 2013 8:18 am

And I've noticed recently structures appearing in the area of Old Qurna! And piles of white bricks there also.
I might agree with you, but then we'd both be wrong!
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Re: Egypt's Dahshur ancient heritage under immediate threat

Post by Bullet Magnet » Mon Jan 14, 2013 10:08 am

LivinginLuxor wrote:And I've noticed recently structures appearing in the area of Old Qurna! And piles of white bricks there also.
Good on them. :up Take back the land and take back the Power.. :cool:
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Re: Egypt's Dahshur ancient heritage under immediate threat

Post by Kaiserbernese » Tue Jan 15, 2013 6:45 pm

I'll be at Dashur on Friday so I'll let you know what happens!

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Re: Egypt's Dahshur ancient heritage under immediate threat

Post by Winged Isis » Tue Jan 15, 2013 9:25 pm

[URLs submitted by Bjorn Koopmans]

* Also the non-Egyptian press now reports on the encroachment
near Dahshur's pyramids, via one and the same report; it includes
reactions by the villagers and others, so probably worth reading
in full:

<http://www.foxnews.com/world/2013/01/14 ... ecropolis/>
<http://phys.org/news/2013-01-cemetery-e ... polis.html>
<http://www.3news.co.nz/Cemetery-endange ... fault.aspx>
<http://science.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/0 ... polis?lite>
<http://news.yahoo.com/cemetery-endanger ... 04247.html>
<http://www.newser.com/article/da3q7j1g0 ... polis.html>

"(..) In the case of Dahshour, villagers say their cemeteries are full
and authorities don't give permits or land for new ones. So they took
matters into their own hands and grabbed what they insist is empty
desert land to erect family tombs. (..)
Just a few weeks ago, several guards at Dahshour were shot
and wounded when they confronted thieves doing an illegal dig
during the night (..). Dahshour is largely unexcavated, since the
area was a closed military zone until 1996. (..)
The construction started suddenly about two weeks ago, apparently
when one villager added a new tomb in the desert on the edge of
an existing cemetery, guards and residents said. Word went out
and hundreds of residents from at least four neighboring villages
descended on the site to build tombs of their own, up a small
desert valley. Police did nothing to stop them - nor did the
military, still stationed nearby. The tombs are small complexes on
their own, build mainly of cheap white bricks. Each is a walled
courtyard with multiple enclosed niches where multiple family
members can be buried. Rows of them now cover several acres
inside the UNESCO-defined antiquities zone of Dahshour,
coming to within 150 meters (yards) of Sneferu's Valley Temple. (..)
Adjacent to the construction is the crumbled 3,800-year-old Black
Pyramid of Amenemhat III, around which there has been heavy
looting the past two years. Just beyond towers Sneferu's Bent
Pyramid (..) "
Carpe diem! :le:

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