Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Looting and Destruction Continue in Egypt, Oh Egypt

Hola darlings! 

I have now 62 birthdays under my belt, hope for at least 30 more (knock on wood, and may it be in relatively no worse "health" than I am right now, oh the irony the irony, Mr. Don would have appreciated it!)  But while my blog stops when I'm not up to posting, the world continues on, oblivious to little ol' me.  So it goes.  And thus it should be. 

Horror continues to go on in Egypt.  Well, we knew it was happening but it just is not getting the coverage it deserves in the mainstream press.  Unfortunately, people do not value the past as much as they should -- but the uber-rich jerks who are sucking up these stolen artifacts just as fast as they can be looted and shipped out of the country know their value.  And we may never ever see any of them again. They will sit in sterile wonder inside some air-controlled vault-room somewhere in Beijing, or St. Petersburg, or New York, or Los Angeles, or Hong Kong, or Hanoi. 

People who follow this horror story and are cognizant of the international illicit trade in antiquities mourn their loss, but most of us won't even realize the enormity of the loss we, as a world, have suffered.  It makes me sick to my stomach, people.  While all eyes are on Cairo, check out this story about the latest "out of sight, out of mind" museum to be destroyed by looters.  They took everything that could be easily carried, and I've no doubt that if given the chance, the larger objects will disappear in short order, too:

Pictures: Looters Shatter Museum of Ancient Egyptian Treasures

Aftermath of the Attack

Photograph by Roger Anis, El Shorouk/AP
Amid the deadly chaos that has erupted in Egypt, the country's cultural heritage took a hit last week when looters ransacked the archaeological museum in the town of Mallawi.
Located about 190 miles (300 kilometers) south of Cairo, the museum was opened in 1963 to showcase the finds from excavations at nearby sites.
"The museum contained irreplaceable artifacts, many not yet studied," says Salima Ikram, a professor of Egyptology at the American University in Cairo. "The looting leaves enormous gaps in our understanding of ancient Egyptian religious and funerary rites."
Housed in a modest, two-story building, the museum's galleries displayed a wide range of objects—animal mummies, votive statues, religious offerings, brightly painted wooden coffins, necklaces of stone beads, a ritual rattle known as a sistrum, funerary masks, amulets, statues from tombs, stone trays for sacred oils, jars that once held the internal organs of an Egyptian now long dead—all of which had survived in remarkably good condition for more than 2,000 years.
According to local news reports, looters—as yet unidentified—broke into the museum while supporters of recently deposed Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi were holding a sit-in protest in the museum's garden. From the 1,089 artifacts on exhibit, an estimated 1,050 were stolen.
After the looters had departed, gangs of what one source calls "local bad boys" entered the building and began to burn and smash what was left. ...

More coverage, giving a quick "review" of the latest destruction and attempted break-ins all over Egypt, from Al-Ahram:

Saving Egypt’s heritage

How have Egypt’s monuments and museums fared in the ongoing violence, asks Nevine El-Aref 20-08-2013 02:56PM ET
... Malawi, once the capital of the ancient Egyptian Pharaoh Akhnaten, was disturbed by violence and deadly clashes between protesters supporting the deposed former president Mohamed Morsi and the security forces after the latter had broken up the sit-ins in the Rabaa Al-Adaweya and Nahda Square in Cairo.

 The pro-Morsi protesters broke into the Malawi police station and town council building and then invaded the neighbouring Malawi Museum (MM), clashing with guards and shooting one of them dead. They then damaged the museum garden, damaged the entrance gates, and managed to enter the museum building, breaking into display cases and looting the collection.

 The museum is now devastated, its showrooms converted into a mess of broken glass, damaged sarcophagi and the statues of ancient Egyptian kings. Inspections carried out by the MM’s curators revealed that 1,040 of 1,080 objects in the Museum’s collection were missing. Large and heavy artefacts were found broken and scattered over the Museum’s floor.

 A full list of the missing objects has been put on the International Council of Museums’ (ICOM) Red List for Egypt in order to prevent them from being illegally smuggled and traded on the international antiquities market. Such lists help police and customs authorities all over the world to recognise missing items. ...

From Boston.com
Egypt's devastating museum looting latest casualty
By AYA BATRAWY / Associated Press / August 19, 2013 [that was my 62nd birthday]

... In the past two years of instability since Mubarak’s ouster, illegal digs have multiplied and illegal construction has encroached on ancient, largely unexplored pyramids.

Also threatening sites is the view held by some hard-line religious allies of Morsi who view Egypt’s ancient history as pagan. ...
Of course, all of this violence, terror and looting (whatever news is trickling out), has practically destroyed the Egyptian tourist industry.  I mean, really, people -- did you REALLY think "wealthy" (according to your standards, like me, for instance) tourists would continue to flock to the Nile River Valley?  This video tells us all we need to know about that Islamic Brotherhood fantasy:

Moche Society WAS Run by Women

From PhysOrg

Tomb find confirms powerful women ruled Peru long ago

Aug 22, 2013 by Roberto Corti
Another tomb of a female "priestess" and the conclusions being drawn from this, the eighth such tomb to be found (but no burials of high-ranking men), have lead the archaeologists toward the conclusion that powerful women did, indeed, rule in Mocha (Mochica) society, in pre-Columbia Peru, about 1200 CE. I wasn't able to copy any of the text here, please read the entire article and check out the photos at the link:
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