With a primitive gun and a street dog, Ahmed Mohamed continues to guard the Tuna el-Gabal archaeological site, that extends for some eight square kilometres in the desert of Minya in Upper Egypt.
Following the January 25 revolution, there is an urgent need to protect archaelogical sites, which have been the target of encroachments by outlaws intending to exploit the security vacuum.
“This region, though devoid of antiquities is still witnessing attacks by armed thieves, who think that these closed buildings include some antique treasures while all their items have been moved to the big Egyptian Museum,” said the old guard. He moves with difficulty in the desert, with his hand on the gun's trigger in anticipation of a fresh assault.
Though the storehouses of Tuna el-Gabal do not contain any items, Mohamed, together with some 10 other guards continues to protect the area around the clock against potential attempts at searching for antiquities, as the public started to carry out their own excavations at different archaeological sites in the country.
Following the January 25 revolution, the important site of Tel el-Amarna in Minya, which contains some of the most famous Pharaonic tomb paintings from the Middle Kingdom, has also been the target of encroachments by people intending to exploit the security vacuum.
Monday, May 23, 2011
Insecurity adds to Egypt antiquities’ vulnerability
The Egyptian Gazette