TribLIVE

| Opinion/The Review

 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

The other Islamist threat: Looting history

Justin Merriman | Tribune-Review - A custodian climbs down the passageway of the Red Pyramid which tourists can enter, though it is visited by significantly fewer tourists than the Great Pyramids on the nearby Giza plateau. The Dahshour area was a closed military zone until 1996, when the military camp was cordoned off from the more than two-mile field of ancient pyramids. Built by Pharaoh Snefru, the Red Pyramid is the second-largest pyramid and gets its name from the reddish limestone used to build it.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>   Justin Merriman | Tribune-Review</em></div>A custodian climbs down the passageway of the Red Pyramid which tourists can enter, though it is visited by significantly fewer tourists than the Great Pyramids on the nearby Giza plateau. The Dahshour area was a closed military zone until 1996, when the military camp was cordoned off from the more than two-mile field of ancient pyramids. Built by Pharaoh Snefru, the Red Pyramid is the second-largest pyramid and gets its name from the reddish limestone used to build it.
Justin Merriman | Tribune-Review - A broken bench sits in front of the Bent Pyramid, a site that is not frequented by many tourists. The area around the pyramids of Dahshour was a closed military zone until 1996, when the military camp was cordoned off from the more than two-mile field of ancient pyramids.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>  Justin Merriman | Tribune-Review  </em></div>A broken bench sits in front of the Bent Pyramid, a site that is not frequented by many tourists.  The area around the pyramids of Dahshour was a closed military zone until 1996, when the military camp was cordoned off from the more than two-mile field of ancient pyramids.
Justin Merriman | Tribune-Review - A young man rides a bicycle through the lush palms of Dahshour near fields that are farmed along a canal tributary of the Nile river.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em> Justin Merriman | Tribune-Review  </em></div>A young man rides a bicycle through the lush palms of Dahshour near fields that are farmed along a canal tributary of the Nile river.

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

Letters home ...

Traveling abroad for personal, educational or professional reasons?

Why not share your impressions — and those of residents of foreign countries about the United States — with Trib readers in 150 words?

The world's a big place. Bring it home with Letters Home.

Contact Colin McNickle (412-320-7836 or cmcnickle@tribweb.com).

Daily Photo Galleries

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
 

There's more at stake in post-Mubarak Egypt than matters exclusively of the moment or Egyptian: Mankind's ancient cultural heritage is being destructively looted amid lawlessness under the Islamist regime of President Mohamed Morsy.

Forbidden by Islam, grave-robbing nevertheless has exploded since Egypt's 2011 revolution. The Great Sphinx and Pyramids of Giza remain intact, despite one Salafi radical's call last November for their destruction — a la the Taliban's 2001 dynamiting of ancient Buddha statues in Afghanistan. But a Trib examination found human bones, mummified body parts, wooden coffins and broken limestone sarcophagi scattered about three other Egyptian antiquities sites ravaged by looting.

Some archaeologists privately say Mr. Morsy's government has ignored the looting; those who speak up find themselves targets of threats. Though more Egyptian police and soldiers lately have been protecting some sites, antiquities' legitimate economic value for tourism seems lost on the regime.

Some Egyptians view their ancient ancestors as pagans unworthy of undisturbed graves. Some impoverished villagers loot to survive economically. Armed criminal gangs play a major role, as does black-market demand. Sites never properly studied or catalogued are being stripped of precious, irreplaceable artifacts.

This irreparable damage, squandering and forever despoiling humanity's shared cultural legacy, is a painful reminder of just how far the consequences of today's turmoil can extend.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Editorials

  1. North Korea’s nukes: Object lesson ignored
  2. U.N. Watch: Follow China’s lead?
  3. EPA diktats: Pushing back
  4. Regional growth
  5. Pittsburgh Tuesday takes
  6. Sunday pops
  7. The Box
  8. Kittanning Laurels & Lances
  9. The Brady affair: Contract law
  10. Yes, the IRS targeted conservatives
  11. Medicare @ 50: Sick, getting sicker