Saturday, February 05, 2011

What Happened at Saqqara: An Eyewitness Account

Lee Rosenbaum posts an anonymous report from a French archaeologist detailing the looting at Saqqara. It is notable that robbers began appearing very soon after the police abandoned their posts; that the military response at first was to make a show of force with a tank, but that that was inadequate to cow the looters; that the army did a good job protecting the Museum and magazines at Saqqara; and that the sites were secured on the third day after the start of looting. All in all, that is not a bad record. Let's remember that it took the US military six days to get around to arriving at the Iraq Museum to secure it, that almost nothing was ever done by the US military to protect Iraq's archaeological sites, and that as late as this fall, Iraq still had not reconstituted a functioning archaeological police, with only 50 out of 5,000 in place.


Wayne G. Sayles said...

This is either a Photoshop special or Zahi Hawass is one of those "Little People". Get a life!

Larry Rothfield said...

Wayne, sounds like you are accusing me of photoshopping. Just for the record, the photo comes from Dr Hawass "photoblog":

He might be photoshopping, but he is pretty short, and he has a life, so my bet is that this is a straight photo.