Egyptians Arrested for Illegal Excavation

Seven locals were arrested for illegal excavation of a temple they found underneath their home. Authorities discovered the seven men digging the temple that dates back approximately 3,000 years. The temple has been named an archaeological site by the Minister of Antiquities in Egypt. Things such as remains of marble columns and a large statue were discovered. Some of the artifacts were submerged underwater, adding to the difficulty in extracting them for study. According to an article, the temple is likely to have belonged to the reign of the Pharaoh Thutmose III, who ruled with his aunt and father’s wife Hatshepsut. Hatshepsut was one of the more well known women of Ancient Egypt and was considered to have a very successful reign. This news story reminds me of my trip to Greece and being told that we would not be able to get things like rocks through customs because of the possibility that they are of archaeological significance. The owner of the hotel we stayed at in Greece was an amateur archaeologist and had quite a few broken pots and other artifacts that dated back to Ancient Greece. I suppose the proper protocol would have been for the Egyptians that were arrested to alert the Ministry of Antiquities of their find without first excavating. I find it interesting that although this temple was on the men’s property it is now property of the government. However, once in a while you hear stories on the news about a woman finding a previously undiscovered painting by a famous artist in her attic, it is hers to do with what she will. That, at least, is my understanding of it. Maybe it works differently than I think it does. I do, however, understand why the men were arrested. They could have stolen or damaged artifacts that are a part of Egypt’s cultural history. Included is a picture of one of the items found at the newly discovered site.  http://http://egyptianstreets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/ahram.jpg