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January 26, 2015 / 6 Shevat, 5775
 
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Egypt Ignoring Destruction of Huge Archaeological Site

The Muslim Brotherhood regime is ignoring the “systematic” destruction of Antonopoulos, one of Egypt’s biggest archaeological sites, the Egypt Independent reported Monday.

Monica Hanna, a researcher with the University of Humboldt in Berlin, told the newspaper that information she received from archaeologists working at the site, also known as Sheikh Abada, revealed that bulldozers have leveled an area near Ramses II temple and that the northwestern corner of the walled city has been bulldozed and for agricultural use.

The site is being “destroyed systematically” by residents amid total neglect of the site by the government, they added.

Antonopoulos, which includes archeological finds dating from the pre-dynastic period, the Middle and Modern Kingdoms, and the Ptolemaic period.

The site became famous during the Roman era after Emperor Hadrian established a huge Roman-style city named Antonio Polis, which flourished after the age of Hadrian.

Reports last December revealed that residents demolished a large area of the ancient ruins and cemeteries at Antonopoulos, looted the site and then prepared the ground for planting.

Massive destruction at Egypt’s archaeologist sites was rampant during the uprising against former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, and demonstrators in Tahrir Square broke into the country’s national museum.

Hanna warned, “We are losing the archaeological sites forever. If a home is built, the state can later remove it and retrieve the land. But once the dead are buried, it is impossible to do so. ”

She told the newspaper that residents often build cemeteries on archaeological sites as a cover to dig up and loot antiquities.

About the Author: Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu is a graduate in journalism and economics from The George Washington University. He has worked as a cub reporter in rural Virginia and as senior copy editor for major Canadian metropolitan dailies. Tzvi wrote for Arutz Sheva for several years before joining the Jewish Press.


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