Discuss as:

Egyptian cemetery threatens ancient site

Nasser Nasser / AP

Egyptian laborers work at the new construction site of the illegal expansion of a local cemetery that is seen spreading toward Egypt's first pyramids and temples, at the ancient historic site of Dahshour, Egypt. The Black Pyramid, is seen background left and the Bent Pyramid, is seen background right.

Nasser Nasser / AP

Egyptian farmer and resident of Dahshour village, Ali Orabi rests by his house in Egypt. The illegal expansion of a local cemetery has raised a panic among antiquities experts, who warn that the construction endangers the ancient, largely unexplored complex of Dahshour. At the construction site, residents said they were desperate for new space for burial plots, pointing to old family tombs they said were full. Authorities balked at issuing permits for new tombs or demanded exorbitant fees and bribes, several residents said.

Nasser Nasser / AP

The new construction site of the illegal expansion of a local cemetery is seen spreading toward Egypt's first pyramids and temples at the ancient historic site of Dahshour, Egypt.

From the full story:

In the case of Dahshour, villagers say that their cemeteries are full and that authorities don't give permits or land for new ones. So they took matters into their own hands and grabbed what they insist is empty desert to erect family tombs.

"The dearest thing for us is burying our dead," said Mohammed Abdel-Qader, a resident of nearby Manshiet Dahshour. "This land here is wide and flat, it's a valley. Where are the antiquities they talk about? ... We have no antiquities here."

Read more...