02 February 2011

Tracking the Looting in Egypt

A decapitated mummy in the Egyptian Museum (National Geographic)

If you can spare an eye from Al Jazeera's live feed from Cairo, I want to recommend two sites tracking what we know about looting of museums and sites since the protests began in Egypt last week:
I'm glad these sites are out there: given the mix of bland optimism (Zahi Hawass says everything's just fine) and alarmism ("UCLA Egypt Professor: Museum Looting, Mummy Beheading is a Huge Loss for World Heritage") it's hard to know what exactly is going on. Obviously, with the national police AWOL for a few days and the army otherwise distracted, this is a great window of opportunity for looters.

Standing guard (National Geographic).

In the fuss about the attack on the Egyptian Museum (which seems to have been orchestrated by the police for propaganda value), I hadn't heard about the thefts from less-known depots and sites (Qantara, the Coptic Museum in Cairo, Memphis, Herakleopolis Magna, Saqqara, Giza), though some of them are rumors as yet without any hard data. Let's hope that Zahi is right, and everything remains under lock and key. And props to all of the demonstrators who formed that human chain in front of the Egyptian Museum.

Nat Geo has a good article on how bloggers and ordinary people are pitching in to protect museums and recover stolen artifacts, and a good summary of the museum attack (dated Sunday), including this video:

1 comment:

  1. Dig your blog. You made it onto the list of the top 30 archeology blogs of 2011 at thebestcolleges.org. Congrats!