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  • Originally published 07/31/2013

    Tomb raiders exploit chaos in Egypt

    Egypt's cultural heritage is in danger. Grave robbers, sometimes heavily armed, are taking advantage of political chaos to plunder its poorly guarded archaeological sites. Authorities feel powerless to stop them and fear that ancient treasures might be lost forever....In January 2011, the world-famous Egyptian Museum in Cairo was looted. Rioters destroyed priceless treasures. But valuable ancient relics went missing far from the capital, as well, due to a lack of supervision at historical sites. After the uprising, the repressive security apparatus withdrew everywhere, and the guarding of historical sites was neglected.Two-and-a-half years later, the police are slowly venturing into the streets. But they are mainly concerned with ongoing protests. Elsewhere, some Egyptians are behaving as if the state and its laws have ceased to exist.The army has placed two armored vehicles at the pyramids in Dahshur to deter grave robbers. But, so far, the thieves are undaunted. "We wanted to catch them," says a guard in Dahshur who asked to remain anonymous. "But then they opened fire on us with automatic weapons." He and his fellow guards were only armed with pistols. They jumped for cover, and the grave robbers carried on with their plundering....

  • Originally published 07/18/2013

    Have long-lost pyramids been found in Egypt?

    Mysterious, pyramid-like structures spotted in the Egyptian desert by an amateur satellite archaeologist might be long-lost pyramids after all, according to a new investigation into the enigmatic mounds.Angela Micol, who last year found the structures using Google Earth 5,000 miles away in North Carolina, says puzzling features have been uncovered during a preliminary ground proofing expedition, revealing cavities and shafts. "Moreover, it has emerged these formations are labeled as pyramids on several old and rare maps," Micol told Discovery News....

  • Originally published 04/25/2013

    Feeding Egypt's 10,000 pyramid builders

    The builders of the famous Giza pyramids feasted on food from a massive catering-type operation, the remains of which scientists have discovered at a workers' town near the pyramids.The workers' town is located about 1,300 feet (400 meters) south of the Sphinx, and was used to house workers building the pyramid of pharaoh Menkaure, the third and last pyramid on the Giza plateau. The site is also known by its Arabic name, Heit el-Ghurab, and is sometimes called "the Lost City of the Pyramid Builders."...

  • Originally published 04/01/2013

    In Sudan, archaeologists unearth hidden kingdoms

    KHARTOUM, Sudan — Every winter they come and go, like birds migrating south. Most of them nest in downtown Khartoum’s old Acropole Hotel, but they’re not here to rest. They’re here to work in Sudan’s blistering deserts, and the past few years have yielded outstanding results.For many people around the world, Sudan conjures images of war, instability, drought and poverty. All of those things exist here, often in tragic abundance. But lost in the narrative are the stories of the ancient kingdoms of Kush and Nubia that once rivaled Egypt, Greece and Rome.Lost to many, that is, but not to the archaeologists who have been coming here for years, sometimes decades, to help unearth that history....

  • Originally published 02/07/2013

    35 pyramids found in Sudan

    At least 35 small pyramids, along with graves, have been discovered clustered closely together at a site called Sedeinga in Sudan.Discovered between 2009 and 2012, researchers are surprised at how densely the pyramids are concentrated. In one field season alone, in 2011, the research team discovered 13 pyramids packed into  roughly 5,381 square feet (500 square meters), or  slightly larger than an NBA basketball court.They date back around 2,000 years to a time when a kingdom named Kush flourished in Sudan. Kush shared a border with Egypt and, later on, the Roman Empire. The desire of the kingdom's people to build pyramids was apparently influenced by Egyptian funerary architecture....

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