Zahi Hawass announces removal of cemetery built on antiquities land during Jasmine Revolution

UPDATE: Zahi Hawass reports that a coordinated effort between the SCA, local police, and the Army has removed illegal constructions built atop 22 ancient sites in the Luxor West Bank.

Zahi Hawass today announced on his blog the removal of a modern cemetery illegally erected atop the ancient site of Saqqara during the Jasmine Revolution.  This is one of many steps Dr. Hawass has taken to help secure the treasures of antiquity found all over Egypt, following the numerous heroic acts of SCA archeologists and ordinary Egyptians who stepped up to protect their precious monuments.

I will never forget what I saw when I went to Saqqara before I became Minister of Antiquities for the second time.  During the Revolution, people built over five hundred tombs (a modern cemetery) above sites near the pyramids of Pepi I, Pepi II, andDjedkare Isesi. I found out that the people who live nearby also built a mosque on the causeway of the pyramid of Djedkare Isesi.


Today, MSA personnel, the police, and the army worked together to remove all of the new tombs that were built above the site of Mit Rahina. On Sunday, we will do this on the West Bank of Luxor and later, at Abusir and Lisht. After that, we plan to continue working to clean up all of the sites that were damaged by looters during and after the Revolution. This is really a happy day for all of us.


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The Art of Counting is dedicated to the memory of Margery Meilleur, who first taught me to view history through the eyes of the images we create.