Rally against looting ancient Egyptian necropolis
Dahshour (Egypt): Egyptian youths have protested at a key historic site, demanding that authorities put a stop to looting and construction that threatens one of the nation`s oldest pyramids and burial grounds.
Illegal construction of a new cemetery has been going on for months in part of a 4,500-year-old pharaonic necropolis. The expansion has encroached on the largely unexplored complex of Dahshour, where Pharaoh Sneferu experimented with the first smooth-sided pyramids that his son Khufu, also known as Cheops, employed at the more famous Giza Plateau nearby, when he built the Great Pyramid.
Authorities issued an order in January to remove the construction equipment, instructing the Interior Ministry`s police to implement it, but no action has been taken.
Also, a security vacuum that followed Egypt`s 2011 popular uprising has encouraged looters to step up their illegal digs, clashing with guards at the site.
Yesterday, dozens of young protesters at the site about 40 kilometres (25 miles) south of Cairo held up a sign that read: "God does not bless a nation that gives up its heritage."
Ramadan Mohammed, a 20-year old student from the nearby village of Mansheyet Dahshour, said he witnessed looting himself. He said he wanted to show that Dahshour residents were not responsible and should not to be blamed.
"I`m here to see the government`s response," Mohammed said, with the shadow of Pharaoh Sneferu`s Bent Pyramid looming in the background. "The military was in control of the country all this past period, they should have protected the site and caught the looters. Instead, they stood there doing nothing," he complained.
Antiquities experts warn that construction of the new cemetery also endangers the ancient complex.
Villagers say their cemeteries are full, but authorities do not give permits or land for new ones, so they grabbed what they insist is empty desert land to erect family tombs.
The area, designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage site, also includes the adjacent Valley Temple and the 3,800-year-old Black Pyramid of Amenemhat III.
Nearby is Sneferu`s Bent Pyramid, some 700 years older, with its distinctive bent sides believed to have been caused when the builders had to correct the angle halfway through construction. Farther away is the Red Pyramid, where Sneferu`s builders got the angles right, producing the first smooth-sided pyramid, evolving from the stepped structures built by earlier dynasties.
Antiquity restoration specialist Marwa el-Zeini, who was at the protest, blamed authorities for failing to stop the cemetery construction.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- Heat ave continues in India, death toll climbs to over 1,400
- Megastar Amitabh Bachchan slapped with Rs 1 crore notice
- Kenyan lawyer offers to marry Barack Obama's daughter Malia
- 4 Indians in Forbes' 100 most powerful women list
- Gujjar stir: HC asks Rajasthan govt to clear rail track, roads
- Maggi likely to face ban in India!
- Salman Khan accident files burnt in Mantralaya fire
- AIB: The 'Third Gender's right to dignity'
- Gujjar stir: HC asks Rajasthan govt to clear rail track, roads- Part II
- TERI panel finds RK Pachauri guilty in sexual harassment case
- Rajasthan: High Court raps Chief Secy, DGP for failing to end Gujjar agitation
- Erstwhile Mysuru kingdom gets new king
- Priyanka, Ranveer talk about their film 'Dil Dhadakne Do'
- Former Bihar CM Jitan Ram Manjhi meets PM Modi
- Meet 92-year-old Phyllis Sues who dances toTango
- CBSE Class 10 (Class X Board) Result 2015 on cbse.nic.in, cbseresults.nic.in at 2 pm
- Sonia Gandhi 'unconstitutional authority' during UPA: PM Narendra Modi
- Hours after attacking NDA govt, Manmohan Singh meets PM Narendra Modi
- Check cbseresults.nic.in, cbse.in for CBSE Class 10 X Board Result at 2 pm
- GUJCET Results 2015 declared on gseb.org
- Centre moves SC against Delhi HC order on LG's powers; hearing on Friday
- Pakistan break Team India's long-standing ODI record at home soil
- Gujjar agitation: Centre sending additional forces to vacate rail tracks, say sources
- Rahul Gandhi takes another dig at NDA govt, says Manmohan gave lessons on economy to PM Modi
- Log on to cbseresults.nic.in, cbse.nic.in at 2 pm for Class 10th Result 2015
- Former Bihar CM Jitan Ram Manjhi meets PM Modi, triggers tie-up speculation
- WBCHSE (wbchse.nic.in & wbresults.nic.in): West Bengal Class 12th Result to be declared on May 29
- Gujarat Board Results 2015: Gujarat Board HSC class 12th science results to be declared today at 9 AM on gseb.org
- CBSE (cbseresults.nic.in, cbse.nic.in) Class 10th (X Board) Result 2015 declared
- Watch: Dance guru Prabhudheva's mind-blowing act in 'Happy Hour' from 'ABCD2'!