HAWASS ON EGYPTIAN LOOTINGSMarch 14, 2011
Dr. Zahi Hawass posted the following article on his blogsite on March 3, 2011, concerning the looting of Egyptian antiquities:
When reading this report, one can only be saddened at the sheer extent of what Dr. Hawass reported concerning the lootings. Notably, Hawass maintains that some of the items were recovered, but as the report of March 3 made clear, Hawass himself was, at that time, still awaiting a fuller inventory from other departments of the government as to what had gone missing.
What I find particularly disturbing - and thought-provoking - are Hawass' statements that "inscribed blocks" were taken from sites in Saqqara and Abusir, and that tombs at Giza itself were broken into. One wonders just exactly what was inscribed on those blocks, and if they had ever been translated and made publicly available. Hawass does not comment on this, but it is an important point for the following reason. If the blocks had been translated and made publicly available, one can reasonably surmise that that their theft was for nothing more than monetary gain, pure and simple.
But if they had not been translated and made publicly available, then it is possible that another motivation entirely lay behind their theft, namely, someone wanted to know something.
What disturbs one here is the lack of detailed reporting, and hence, the lack of any solid basis on which to interpret the lootings and to speculate on the motivations and possible suspects. We are given little, in other words, to solve the crime. I cannot help but be reminded, in this respect, of the Baghdad Museum lootings, for to this day, I suspect we have not been told everything about that dismal affair either.
The recent rumors of Hawass' resignation, and the confusion reigning in that country during its transitional phase, make one wonder if indeed somehow Egypt's antiquities might not have been a primary factor behind it all.