Sunday, March 27, 2011

News re the looting at Abusir

Many thanks to Jakub Malina for the following summary of the above news article.

Czech egyptological expedition in Abusir had to change its program. Former chief of Czech expedition, professor Miroslav Verner, told for press agency CTK that only a small group of Czech archaeologists is carrying out rescue works in the stores and counting what was lost or damaged. "When members of our team arrived at Abusir, they were horrified by a number of illegal excavations," told egyptologist who spent more than 40 years of his professional life by Abusir excavations. "So we will have to perform rescue research in the dozens of places. It will not be easy, it will not be cheap, and it will divert us from our program." According to Verner, thieves broke into expedition stores and heavily damaged the site. They looted also the tomb of priest Rahotep, where one cultic stela is stolen. Verner expects that the expedition will not be able to continue in original research program until the autumn elections in Egypt.

And again, thanks to Jakub for this link too, and his summary of the main points:

With photos.

  • more than 200 illegal excavation pits on the site, some of them (4 - 5 meters deep) found some ancient tombs (now they are all empty)
  • rare stella (found in 1991) from Rahotep‘s tomb is stolen, all the tomb is damaged
  • most of objects in the expedition store are irretrievably damaged (including Old Kingdom objects from Raneferef‘s tomb and the vase of Pharaoh Huni)

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