Sitting on a Treasure Chest
For my blog post this week I decided to watch a short video on citizens of Egypt finding antiquities on their property. Because the fertile area around the Nile is getting more and more populated more and more archaeological areas are being covered by houses and residents. These people don’t always realize that they are sitting on a goldmine of ancient history and when they find an artifact they don’t know how to preserve and take care of it. The people that do know they’ve stumbled upon an artifact know that they can be sold for a pretty penny.
Depending on the person, some artifacts are sold on the black market (which is very illegal), kept, or given to societies that can take care of the object. One man in the interview – a man that does sell artifacts on the black market – said that some of the objects he’s found have sold for 10,000$ which I think is a crazy amount of money for an illegal purchase.
I just thought this video was really interesting because some of the people living on this land are so poor they don’t care at all about these historical artifacts they just want the money to feed and care for their families. I’m lucky enough to not know what it’s like to be hungry but at the same time I can’t stand that these artifacts are being sold on the black market and that they’re treated so poorly. I know it’s the anthropologist in me that makes me cringe at the thought of abused ancient objects but our history is so vital to our survival and our knowledge.
I know it’s a little bit of a turn but to just get rid of one’s history without even a second thought is one of the worst things we can do as people. It’s so important to know our history, where we came from, what’s happened in the past because it can help us not repeat the same mistakes. I could go on and on about this but for now I’ll just say that we need to make sure these objects aren’t sold illegally, but we also need to make sure that the people in Egypt have the resources to take care of their families so they don’t feel the need to sell artifacts.