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Fw: Major looting now occurring in Egypt

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  • George Thomas
    Re. the looting in Egypt, this includes massive amounts of site vandalism, and comes after news that members of the public had joined with Army units to try to
    Message 1 of 5 , Feb 1 12:24 PM
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      Re. the looting in Egypt, this includes massive amounts of site vandalism, and comes after news that members of the public had joined with Army units to try to protect some of the antiquities. There seems to be some form of "middle class" (?) public support for Egyptology, but unfortunately it also seems that the political upheaval has unleashed the same kind of mass looting that we saw almost a decade ago in Iraq.
      Over the decades archaeology has certainly taken a beating.  Ankor Wat in the 60s-70s, unpublicized archaeology that must have been affected in Korea, Iraq and now the left (west) wing of the Fertile Crescent. In WWII there existed a set of regulations (their identity and numerical designation escape me..... I suppose I could look it up) that governed the treatment of "cultural patrimony" in times of war. For one thing, we see how effective all this was, what with the hoarding of art and artifacts and ongoing legal actions in Europe. But the US military appears to have taken a more active role in the efforts than they do today.
      "Fog of war and all that?"  How easy it is for us to assume that regulations will be followed while "there's a war on.
      G

      --- On Mon, 1/31/11, Hester <secocreek@...> wrote:


      From: Hester <secocreek@...>
      Subject: Fw: Major looting now occurring in Egypt
      To: TXARCH-L@...
      Date: Monday, January 31, 2011, 9:26 AM


      Erwin Roemer forwarded this to me this morning.  It is from a professor at UAB (see bottom of email).

      --------------------------------------------------------
          Things are escalating.  I just received this information
      directly (on Facebook) from Egyptologists and members of the Supreme
      Council for Antiquities (SCA) who are witnessing the situation:

      "Verified by Mohammad Megahed: Immense damages to Abusir and
      Saqqara, all magazines and tombs which were sealed were entered last
      night. Only Imhotep Museum and adjacent central magazines protected by
      the military. In Abusir all tombs opened. large gangs digging day and
      night everywhere"

      The damage is *vast*.

      It seems that some of the storage magazines at South Saqqara and
      Abusir have been looted-hard to say how much was taken and the extent of
      the robbing.  SCA representatives are only today able to check on the
      museums/storage magazines, but early reports suggest major looting.  If
      you all could please contact anyone who can help and put them on "high
      alert" for Old Kingdom remains and Egyptian antiquities in general, and
      please spread the word to law enforcement officials worldwide.  Egyptian
      looters (who may be encouraged by outside Egypt entities) may try to use
      the general confusion to get things out of the country.

      Other bad news: prisons in Qena and Armant (next to Luxor) have
      been emptied, so people fear major looting will occur in that region.

      Reports still abound for major looting in the Alexandria
      Museum---but those reports are hard to confirm.  The violence has been
      worse in Alexandria, and there have been few police reports there.

      Things appear to be getting very bad, and this suggests they
      will get much worse.

      Best wishes,
      Sarah

      Sarah H. Parcak, PhD, FSA
      Assistant Professor, Dept. of History and Anthropology
      Director, Laboratory for Global Observation
      University of Alabama at Birmingham
      1401 University Blvd
      Birmingham, AL 35294
      Phone: (205) 996-7982
      Fax:     (205) 996-7977





      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Deborah Shepherd
      I m curious about the motivations for looting. I don t think we can expect to control looting until we understand why it is happening. Do looters loot for
      Message 2 of 5 , Feb 1 1:35 PM
      • 0 Attachment
        I'm curious about the motivations for looting. I don't think we can expect to control looting until we understand why it is happening. Do looters loot for profit (and is it easy enough then for them to sell the items they've looted)? Are all looters knowledgeable about the black market or just assuming they'll figure it out later? Do some people instead loot out of anger--because they hate the ruling regime and want to cause it injury?

        I read somewhere this morning that looters had damaged a newly renovated museum gift shop, but the curator, as he expressed it, was glad the looters didn't "realize" they were in the gift shop and not the museum. I wonder if that's true. Museum pieces would be hard to sell, but looters ought to know that gift shop jewelry, for example, could be much more easily sold and yet give some value in return. Well, just some thoughts. I'm not sure that all looters are looking for big profit, but that seems to be the common assumption.

        From: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com [mailto:SACC-L@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of George Thomas
        Sent: Tuesday, February 01, 2011 2:25 PM
        To: sacc-l@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: [SACC-L] Fw: Major looting now occurring in Egypt



        Re. the looting in Egypt, this includes massive amounts of site vandalism, and comes after news that members of the public had joined with Army units to try to protect some of the antiquities. There seems to be some form of "middle class" (?) public support for Egyptology, but unfortunately it also seems that the political upheaval has unleashed the same kind of mass looting that we saw almost a decade ago in Iraq.
        Over the decades archaeology has certainly taken a beating. Ankor Wat in the 60s-70s, unpublicized archaeology that must have been affected in Korea, Iraq and now the left (west) wing of the Fertile Crescent. In WWII there existed a set of regulations (their identity and numerical designation escape me..... I suppose I could look it up) that governed the treatment of "cultural patrimony" in times of war. For one thing, we see how effective all this was, what with the hoarding of art and artifacts and ongoing legal actions in Europe. But the US military appears to have taken a more active role in the efforts than they do today.
        "Fog of war and all that?" How easy it is for us to assume that regulations will be followed while "there's a war on.
        G

        --- On Mon, 1/31/11, Hester <secocreek@...<mailto:secocreek%40SWTEXAS.NET>> wrote:

        From: Hester <secocreek@...<mailto:secocreek%40SWTEXAS.NET>>
        Subject: Fw: Major looting now occurring in Egypt
        To: TXARCH-L@...<mailto:TXARCH-L%40LISTSERV.TAMU.EDU>
        Date: Monday, January 31, 2011, 9:26 AM

        Erwin Roemer forwarded this to me this morning. It is from a professor at UAB (see bottom of email).

        --------------------------------------------------------
        Things are escalating. I just received this information
        directly (on Facebook) from Egyptologists and members of the Supreme
        Council for Antiquities (SCA) who are witnessing the situation:

        "Verified by Mohammad Megahed: Immense damages to Abusir and
        Saqqara, all magazines and tombs which were sealed were entered last
        night. Only Imhotep Museum and adjacent central magazines protected by
        the military. In Abusir all tombs opened. large gangs digging day and
        night everywhere"

        The damage is *vast*.

        It seems that some of the storage magazines at South Saqqara and
        Abusir have been looted-hard to say how much was taken and the extent of
        the robbing. SCA representatives are only today able to check on the
        museums/storage magazines, but early reports suggest major looting. If
        you all could please contact anyone who can help and put them on "high
        alert" for Old Kingdom remains and Egyptian antiquities in general, and
        please spread the word to law enforcement officials worldwide. Egyptian
        looters (who may be encouraged by outside Egypt entities) may try to use
        the general confusion to get things out of the country.

        Other bad news: prisons in Qena and Armant (next to Luxor) have
        been emptied, so people fear major looting will occur in that region.

        Reports still abound for major looting in the Alexandria
        Museum---but those reports are hard to confirm. The violence has been
        worse in Alexandria, and there have been few police reports there.

        Things appear to be getting very bad, and this suggests they
        will get much worse.

        Best wishes,
        Sarah

        Sarah H. Parcak, PhD, FSA
        Assistant Professor, Dept. of History and Anthropology
        Director, Laboratory for Global Observation
        University of Alabama at Birmingham
        1401 University Blvd
        Birmingham, AL 35294
        Phone: (205) 996-7982
        Fax: (205) 996-7977

        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]



        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Bob Muckle
        There is actually a substantial literature on looting. Subsistence looting is often used to describe the situation where people start looting sites as a near
        Message 3 of 5 , Feb 1 2:12 PM
        • 0 Attachment
          There is actually a substantial literature on looting. 'Subsistence looting' is often used to describe the situation where people start looting sites as a near last resort. They don't usually want to do it; many acknowledge they are contribiuting the loss of their own heritage, but feel they are left with no other option. This is the kind of looting, I think, that continues today in Iraq. The looting in Iraq did not start with subsistence looting, but as the traditional lifeways broke down, many Iraqis turned to looting their own sites. Subsistence looting, I believe is also common in some areas of Mesoamerican and South America.

          In Iraq, the initial looting was targeted. The looters knew what they were doing and it was big business. But it changed to subsistence looting as well as a means for some of the ethnic groups to obtain guns. It got to the stage in Iraq that even a couple of years ago (and maybe still), looted artifacts were being traded for guns.

          What we are seeing in Egypt, I think, is neither organized looting or subsistence looting. I think it is similar to what we see all over the world in times chaos - people taking advantage. It seems to me that the cases we have seen so far at the museum as well at some of the more remote sites, is that some people are just taking advantage of the situation....without giving it much thought. It reminds me of when a major sports team wins a championship there is often a small riot, in which people loot any store around.

          Unfortunately, the looting in Egypt will probably continue for a while yet. I imagine, as there were in the weeks leading up to Iraq, collectors and antiquity dealers are putting in their orders, and getting ready for an influx of Egyptian antiquities. If the looting continues we can expect much of it to show up in London, New York, and Tokyo.

          I've worked in Egypt, and know that there are many sites that are quite remote and unguarded.

          Unfortunately, there are a lot of people in power around the world who prioritize wealth over tangible heritage.

          Also unfortunately, the looting in Egypt was so predictable. I expect, but don't know, that the well-known artifacts from Cario and Alexandria will be protected. But I also expect that whatever happens politically and socially in the short term, looting of remote sites will increase as some take advantage of the instability.

          My two cents on Tuesday afternoon.

          Bob





          >>> Deborah Shepherd <deborah.shepherd@...> 02/01/11 1:36 PM >>>
          I'm curious about the motivations for looting. I don't think we can expect to control looting until we understand why it is happening. Do looters loot for profit (and is it easy enough then for them to sell the items they've looted)? Are all looters knowledgeable about the black market or just assuming they'll figure it out later? Do some people instead loot out of anger--because they hate the ruling regime and want to cause it injury?

          I read somewhere this morning that looters had damaged a newly renovated museum gift shop, but the curator, as he expressed it, was glad the looters didn't "realize" they were in the gift shop and not the museum. I wonder if that's true. Museum pieces would be hard to sell, but looters ought to know that gift shop jewelry, for example, could be much more easily sold and yet give some value in return. Well, just some thoughts. I'm not sure that all looters are looking for big profit, but that seems to be the common assumption.

          From: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com [mailto:SACC-L@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of George Thomas
          Sent: Tuesday, February 01, 2011 2:25 PM
          To: sacc-l@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: [SACC-L] Fw: Major looting now occurring in Egypt



          Re. the looting in Egypt, this includes massive amounts of site vandalism, and comes after news that members of the public had joined with Army units to try to protect some of the antiquities. There seems to be some form of "middle class" (?) public support for Egyptology, but unfortunately it also seems that the political upheaval has unleashed the same kind of mass looting that we saw almost a decade ago in Iraq.
          Over the decades archaeology has certainly taken a beating. Ankor Wat in the 60s-70s, unpublicized archaeology that must have been affected in Korea, Iraq and now the left (west) wing of the Fertile Crescent. In WWII there existed a set of regulations (their identity and numerical designation escape me..... I suppose I could look it up) that governed the treatment of "cultural patrimony" in times of war. For one thing, we see how effective all this was, what with the hoarding of art and artifacts and ongoing legal actions in Europe. But the US military appears to have taken a more active role in the efforts than they do today.
          "Fog of war and all that?" How easy it is for us to assume that regulations will be followed while "there's a war on.
          G

          --- On Mon, 1/31/11, Hester <secocreek@...<mailto:secocreek%40SWTEXAS.NET>> wrote:

          From: Hester <secocreek@...<mailto:secocreek%40SWTEXAS.NET>>
          Subject: Fw: Major looting now occurring in Egypt
          To: TXARCH-L@...<mailto:TXARCH-L%40LISTSERV.TAMU.EDU>
          Date: Monday, January 31, 2011, 9:26 AM

          Erwin Roemer forwarded this to me this morning. It is from a professor at UAB (see bottom of email).

          --------------------------------------------------------
          Things are escalating. I just received this information
          directly (on Facebook) from Egyptologists and members of the Supreme
          Council for Antiquities (SCA) who are witnessing the situation:

          "Verified by Mohammad Megahed: Immense damages to Abusir and
          Saqqara, all magazines and tombs which were sealed were entered last
          night. Only Imhotep Museum and adjacent central magazines protected by
          the military. In Abusir all tombs opened. large gangs digging day and
          night everywhere"

          The damage is *vast*.

          It seems that some of the storage magazines at South Saqqara and
          Abusir have been looted-hard to say how much was taken and the extent of
          the robbing. SCA representatives are only today able to check on the
          museums/storage magazines, but early reports suggest major looting. If
          you all could please contact anyone who can help and put them on "high
          alert" for Old Kingdom remains and Egyptian antiquities in general, and
          please spread the word to law enforcement officials worldwide. Egyptian
          looters (who may be encouraged by outside Egypt entities) may try to use
          the general confusion to get things out of the country.

          Other bad news: prisons in Qena and Armant (next to Luxor) have
          been emptied, so people fear major looting will occur in that region.

          Reports still abound for major looting in the Alexandria
          Museum---but those reports are hard to confirm. The violence has been
          worse in Alexandria, and there have been few police reports there.

          Things appear to be getting very bad, and this suggests they
          will get much worse.

          Best wishes,
          Sarah

          Sarah H. Parcak, PhD, FSA
          Assistant Professor, Dept. of History and Anthropology
          Director, Laboratory for Global Observation
          University of Alabama at Birmingham
          1401 University Blvd
          Birmingham, AL 35294
          Phone: (205) 996-7982
          Fax: (205) 996-7977

          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]



          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Kip Waldo
          Unfortunately there are elements that will try to take advantage of such situations - such as the looting of current sites. Hopefully the military will be
          Message 4 of 5 , Feb 1 3:22 PM
          • 0 Attachment
            Unfortunately there are elements that will try to take advantage of such situations - such as the looting of current sites. Hopefully the military will be deployed, but I doubt it. Maybe the populace in those areas will follow the example set by people in Alexandria

            A number of the "looters' In the museum in Alexandria who were apprehended and tuned over to the military were subsequently identified as being members of the police force. The assumption being that they were trying to foment enough discord that there would be a call for their return to the street. That didn't happen, as people ringed the museum and then the military was called in to guard it.

            >>> Deborah Shepherd <deborah.shepherd@...> 02/01/11 1:35 PM >>>
            I'm curious about the motivations for looting. I don't think we can expect to control looting until we understand why it is happening. Do looters loot for profit (and is it easy enough then for them to sell the items they've looted)? Are all looters knowledgeable about the black market or just assuming they'll figure it out later? Do some people instead loot out of anger--because they hate the ruling regime and want to cause it injury?

            I read somewhere this morning that looters had damaged a newly renovated museum gift shop, but the curator, as he expressed it, was glad the looters didn't "realize" they were in the gift shop and not the museum. I wonder if that's true. Museum pieces would be hard to sell, but looters ought to know that gift shop jewelry, for example, could be much more easily sold and yet give some value in return. Well, just some thoughts. I'm not sure that all looters are looking for big profit, but that seems to be the common assumption.

            From: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com [mailto:SACC-L@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of George Thomas
            Sent: Tuesday, February 01, 2011 2:25 PM
            To: sacc-l@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: [SACC-L] Fw: Major looting now occurring in Egypt



            Re. the looting in Egypt, this includes massive amounts of site vandalism, and comes after news that members of the public had joined with Army units to try to protect some of the antiquities. There seems to be some form of "middle class" (?) public support for Egyptology, but unfortunately it also seems that the political upheaval has unleashed the same kind of mass looting that we saw almost a decade ago in Iraq.
            Over the decades archaeology has certainly taken a beating. Ankor Wat in the 60s-70s, unpublicized archaeology that must have been affected in Korea, Iraq and now the left (west) wing of the Fertile Crescent. In WWII there existed a set of regulations (their identity and numerical designation escape me..... I suppose I could look it up) that governed the treatment of "cultural patrimony" in times of war. For one thing, we see how effective all this was, what with the hoarding of art and artifacts and ongoing legal actions in Europe. But the US military appears to have taken a more active role in the efforts than they do today.
            "Fog of war and all that?" How easy it is for us to assume that regulations will be followed while "there's a war on.
            G

            --- On Mon, 1/31/11, Hester <secocreek@...<mailto:secocreek%40SWTEXAS.NET>> wrote:

            From: Hester <secocreek@...<mailto:secocreek%40SWTEXAS.NET>>
            Subject: Fw: Major looting now occurring in Egypt
            To: TXARCH-L@...<mailto:TXARCH-L%40LISTSERV.TAMU.EDU>
            Date: Monday, January 31, 2011, 9:26 AM

            Erwin Roemer forwarded this to me this morning. It is from a professor at UAB (see bottom of email).

            --------------------------------------------------------
            Things are escalating. I just received this information
            directly (on Facebook) from Egyptologists and members of the Supreme
            Council for Antiquities (SCA) who are witnessing the situation:

            "Verified by Mohammad Megahed: Immense damages to Abusir and
            Saqqara, all magazines and tombs which were sealed were entered last
            night. Only Imhotep Museum and adjacent central magazines protected by
            the military. In Abusir all tombs opened. large gangs digging day and
            night everywhere"

            The damage is *vast*.

            It seems that some of the storage magazines at South Saqqara and
            Abusir have been looted-hard to say how much was taken and the extent of
            the robbing. SCA representatives are only today able to check on the
            museums/storage magazines, but early reports suggest major looting. If
            you all could please contact anyone who can help and put them on "high
            alert" for Old Kingdom remains and Egyptian antiquities in general, and
            please spread the word to law enforcement officials worldwide. Egyptian
            looters (who may be encouraged by outside Egypt entities) may try to use
            the general confusion to get things out of the country.

            Other bad news: prisons in Qena and Armant (next to Luxor) have
            been emptied, so people fear major looting will occur in that region.

            Reports still abound for major looting in the Alexandria
            Museum---but those reports are hard to confirm. The violence has been
            worse in Alexandria, and there have been few police reports there.

            Things appear to be getting very bad, and this suggests they
            will get much worse.

            Best wishes,
            Sarah

            Sarah H. Parcak, PhD, FSA
            Assistant Professor, Dept. of History and Anthropology
            Director, Laboratory for Global Observation
            University of Alabama at Birmingham
            1401 University Blvd
            Birmingham, AL 35294
            Phone: (205) 996-7982
            Fax: (205) 996-7977

            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]



            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • George Thomas
            Bob, I will use this thread to bolster my notes on looting.   Thanks for truly useful thoughts.  And Deborah, you truly asked the right questions. In the
            Message 5 of 5 , Feb 2 9:32 AM
            • 0 Attachment
              Bob, I will use this thread to bolster my notes on "looting."  Thanks for truly useful thoughts.  And Deborah, you truly asked the right questions.
              In the 80s we at Ft. Hood produced something we half-facetiously dubbed our "pot-hunter-hunting guide."  Clearly your citation of "subsistence looting" both raises our level a good bit, and extends the subject to the matter of Third World site looting.  Feel free to fill me in on some of the "substantial literature" on looting.  I failed to follow up over the past decades.
              I worked in Mexico, and I can confirm what you surmise about subsistence looting there, as you observed it in Egypt.
              Re. instability as it contributes to looting, yes, and I've observed both on a large scale and a small scale, the attitudes of people confronted by the need to preserve museums and tangible heritage, while they are out of work or scrounging for subsistence.  Somehow an anthropological take on all this might mention the bottom falling out of systems for redistribution of goods/services in modern states, etc. etc.  To me, "subsistence looting" is a no-brainer.  It will happen as people perceive increasingly dire basic circumstances and, yes, "values in frustration," and the denial of "perceived wants and needs."
              Anyone care to expand this beyond Ward Goodenough and 1960s applied anthropology?
              George
               
              Re: Fw: Major looting now occurring in Egypt
                  Posted by: "Bob Muckle" bmuckle@... canadianarchaeologist
                  Date: Tue Feb 1, 2011 2:12 pm ((PST))

              There is actually a substantial literature on looting. 'Subsistence looting' is often used to describe the situation where people start looting sites as a near last resort. They don't usually want to do it; many acknowledge they are contribiuting the loss of their own heritage, but feel they are left with no other option. This is the kind of looting, I think, that continues today in Iraq. The looting in Iraq did not start with subsistence looting, but as the traditional lifeways broke down, many Iraqis turned to looting their own sites. Subsistence looting, I believe is also common in some areas of Mesoamerican and South America.

              In Iraq, the initial looting was targeted. The looters knew what they were doing and it was big business. But it changed to subsistence looting as well as a means for some of the ethnic groups to obtain guns. It got to the stage in Iraq that even a couple of years ago (and maybe still), looted artifacts were being traded for guns.

              What we are seeing in Egypt, I think, is neither organized looting or subsistence looting. I think it is similar to what we see all over the world in times chaos - people taking advantage. It seems to me that the cases we have seen so far at the museum as well at some of the more remote sites, is that some people are just taking advantage of the situation....without giving it much thought. It reminds me of when a major sports team wins a championship there is often a small riot, in which people loot any store around.   

              Unfortunately, the looting in Egypt will probably continue for a while yet. I imagine, as there were in the weeks leading up to Iraq, collectors and antiquity dealers are putting in their orders, and getting ready for an influx of Egyptian antiquities. If the looting continues we can expect much of it to show up in London, New York, and Tokyo.

              I've worked in Egypt, and know that there are many sites that are quite remote and unguarded.

              Unfortunately, there are a lot of people in power around the world who prioritize wealth over tangible heritage.

              Also unfortunately, the looting in Egypt was so predictable. I expect, but don't know, that the well-known artifacts from Cario and Alexandria will be protected. But I also expect that whatever happens politically and socially in the short term, looting of remote sites will increase as some take advantage of the instability.

              My two cents on Tuesday afternoon.

              Bob





              >>> Deborah Shepherd <deborah.shepherd@...> 02/01/11 1:36 PM >>>
              I'm curious about the motivations for looting. I don't think we can expect to control looting until we understand why it is happening. Do looters loot for profit (and is it easy enough then for them to sell the items they've looted)? Are all looters knowledgeable about the black market or just assuming they'll figure it out later? Do some people instead loot out of anger--because they hate the ruling regime and want to cause it injury?

              I read somewhere this morning that looters had damaged a newly renovated museum gift shop, but the curator, as he expressed it, was glad the looters didn't "realize" they were in the gift shop and not the museum. I wonder if that's true. Museum pieces would be hard to sell, but looters ought to know that gift shop jewelry, for example, could be much more easily sold and yet give some value in return. Well, just some thoughts. I'm not sure that all looters are looking for big profit, but that seems to be the common assumption.

              Re: Fw: Major looting now occurring in Egypt
                  Posted by: "Kip Waldo" kwaldo@... kipandfei
                  Date: Tue Feb 1, 2011 3:23 pm ((PST))

              Unfortunately there are elements that will try to take advantage of such situations - such as the looting of current sites. Hopefully the military will be deployed, but I doubt it. Maybe the populace in those areas will follow the example set by people in Alexandria

              A number of the "looters' In the museum in Alexandria who were  apprehended and tuned over to the military were subsequently identified as being members of the police force. The assumption being that they were trying to foment enough discord that there would be a call for their return to the street. That didn't happen, as people ringed the museum and then the military was called in to guard it.


              From: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com [mailto:SACC-L@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of George Thomas
              Sent: Tuesday, February 01, 2011 2:25 PM
              To: sacc-l@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: [SACC-L] Fw: Major looting now occurring in Egypt

              Re. the looting in Egypt, this includes massive amounts of site vandalism, and comes after news that members of the public had joined with Army units to try to protect some of the antiquities. There seems to be some form of "middle class" (?) public support for Egyptology, but unfortunately it also seems that the political upheaval has unleashed the same kind of mass looting that we saw almost a decade ago in Iraq.
              Over the decades archaeology has certainly taken a beating.  Ankor Wat in the 60s-70s, unpublicized archaeology that must have been affected in Korea, Iraq and now the left (west) wing of the Fertile Crescent. In WWII there existed a set of regulations (their identity and numerical designation escape me..... I suppose I could look it up) that governed the treatment of "cultural patrimony" in times of war. For one thing, we see how effective all this was, what with the hoarding of art and artifacts and ongoing legal actions in Europe. But the US military appears to have taken a more active role in the efforts than they do today.
              "Fog of war and all that?"  How easy it is for us to assume that regulations will be followed while "there's a war on.
              G

              --- On Mon, 1/31/11, Hester <secocreek@...<mailto:secocreek%40SWTEXAS.NET>> wrote:

              From: Hester <secocreek@...<mailto:secocreek%40SWTEXAS.NET>>
              Subject: Fw: Major looting now occurring in Egypt
              To: TXARCH-L@...<mailto:TXARCH-L%40LISTSERV.TAMU.EDU>
              Date: Monday, January 31, 2011, 9:26 AM

              Erwin Roemer forwarded this to me this morning.  It is from a professor at UAB (see bottom of email).

              --------------------------------------------------------
                  Things are escalating.  I just received this information
              directly (on Facebook) from Egyptologists and members of the Supreme
              Council for Antiquities (SCA) who are witnessing the situation:

              "Verified by Mohammad Megahed: Immense damages to Abusir and
              Saqqara, all magazines and tombs which were sealed were entered last
              night. Only Imhotep Museum and adjacent central magazines protected by
              the military. In Abusir all tombs opened. large gangs digging day and
              night everywhere"

              The damage is *vast*.

              It seems that some of the storage magazines at South Saqqara and
              Abusir have been looted-hard to say how much was taken and the extent of
              the robbing.  SCA representatives are only today able to check on the
              museums/storage magazines, but early reports suggest major looting.  If
              you all could please contact anyone who can help and put them on "high
              alert" for Old Kingdom remains and Egyptian antiquities in general, and
              please spread the word to law enforcement officials worldwide.  Egyptian
              looters (who may be encouraged by outside Egypt entities) may try to use
              the general confusion to get things out of the country.

              Other bad news: prisons in Qena and Armant (next to Luxor) have
              been emptied, so people fear major looting will occur in that region.

              Reports still abound for major looting in the Alexandria
              Museum---but those reports are hard to confirm.  The violence has been
              worse in Alexandria, and there have been few police reports there.

              Things appear to be getting very bad, and this suggests they
              will get much worse.

              Best wishes,
              Sarah

              Sarah H. Parcak, PhD, FSA
              Assistant Professor, Dept. of History and Anthropology
              Director, Laboratory for Global Observation
              University of Alabama at Birmingham
              1401 University Blvd
              Birmingham, AL 35294
              Phone: (205) 996-7982
              Fax:     (205) 996-7977

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