Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
News Technology

Egypt's Oldest Pyramid Is Being Destroyed By Its Own Restoration Team 246

Posted by samzenpus
from the this-won't-take-long dept.
Taffykay writes The oldest pyramid in Egypt, the Pyramid of Djoserat Saqqara, is being destroyed by the very company the Egyptian government has hired to restore it. The roughly 4,600-year-old structure has been in trouble since an earthquake hit the region in 1992, but in a difficult political and economic climate for the country, those now tasked with preserving the pyramid are said to be doing more harm than good.

Egypt's Oldest Pyramid Is Being Destroyed By Its Own Restoration Team

Comments Filter:
  • by K. S. Kyosuke (729550) on Friday September 05, 2014 @05:38AM (#47832981)

    Saqqara, in Egypt, is the oldest stone complex ever built by humans

    Uh uh...what does that mean? Even Skara Brae is older, and that definitely qualifies as a "stone complex", unless I got horribly wrong what that means, not to mention the assorted individual older monuments in Europe, the Mediterranean, or Asia Minor.

  • by Chrisq (894406) on Friday September 05, 2014 @05:46AM (#47833011)
    Egyptian Muslims have already called for the destruction of the pyramids and the sphinx [independent.co.uk], juts like the Buddhas of Bamiyan [wikipedia.org].
    • by AC-x (735297) on Friday September 05, 2014 @06:32AM (#47833139)

      That's just a single quote from one extremist, and unlike in Afghanistan he that doesn't have any power in Egypt. Even the ultraconservative Salafist political party only wanted the statues covered, not destroyed.

      Suggesting that normal Egyptian Muslims are calling for the destruction of the pyramids is extremely dishonest; It's a bit like linking to a Westboro Baptist protest and claiming "American Christians are calling for the repression of homosexuals".

      • by Mashiki (184564) <[mashiki] [at] [gmail.com]> on Friday September 05, 2014 @06:57AM (#47833219) Homepage

        Suggesting that normal Egyptian Muslims are calling for the destruction of the pyramids is extremely dishonest; It's a bit like linking to a Westboro Baptist protest and claiming "American Christians are calling for the repression of homosexuals".

        Let's look at the region shall we? Ah forget it, let's look at normal muslims in general. You've got large swaths of sunni's in europe supporting groups like isis. You've got a wide swath across other countries like the uae, saudi arabia and kuwait, including the ultra rich in countries like kuwait and the uae sending money to them. You've got people from all over this rock flocking to support them, and their actions, and their goals.

        It's not dishonest, there's something fundamentally broken with many muslims when they're lining up to support a 7th century mentality.

      • That's just a single quote from one extremist

        Not exactly. Destruction of ancient monuments in Egypt by Muslims and Christians has been sporadically taking place throughout the last two millennia. Where do you think the casing stones of the Great Pyramid ended up? They used them to build the mosques of Cairo. It's great when you can kill two birds with one stone, build your own temples, and simultaneously defile monuments of the cursed pagan religion of old.

        • by AC-x (735297)

          There wasn't a lot of tourism (or respect for monuments by anyone) in 1356, only the most hard-line extremist would want to get rid of the cash-cows that are the pyramids today.

        • by LordLimecat (1103839) on Friday September 05, 2014 @07:27AM (#47833327)

          Where do you think the casing stones of the Great Pyramid ended up?

          IIRC, they were taken by looters and builders because they were marble and gold.

        • by tsqr (808554)

          Where do you think the casing stones of the Great Pyramid ended up? They used them to build the mosques of Cairo.

          Sort of like pilfering the outer layer of marble from the Colloseum to build St. Peter's. The difference here AFAIK is that contemporary Christians aren't calling for the destruction of ancient pagan monuments in Rome.

      • by Cardoor (3488091)
        right on. i just replied saying basically the same thing (not having seen your response).
      • This is important: terrorists who claim to be fighting for Islam...are criminals using religion as an excuse and justification for their crimes.
        • by stdarg (456557)

          Tell me what the difference is between "fighting for Islam" and "using religion as an excuse and justification for their crimes." Honestly it sounds about the same, except perhaps for connotation.

          I mean, if someone does something that you personally perceive as a crime, and they do it in the name of Islam, and they justify and excuse it with Islam, then they've ticked both boxes. Why do you think there's a distinction?

    • The problem is the hard liners that are either in power or the most loud... for instance they have demolished the homes of Muhammed and his wives etc which is disappointing to many who value the culture and heritage
    • It is how Neil Degrasse Tyson said when talking about how religion can kill progress "The Arab world was the center of science and mathematics for centuries, and then came Islam", you simply cannot compare Islam to any other major religion as the other religions grew up, Islam didn't. When was the last time you heard of Jews stoning rape victims? Read about any Christians chopping the hands off thieves lately? But it wouldn't take me even 5 minutes worth of Googling to wallpaper this page with horror after horror, not only not condemned but condoned by Islamic states.

      At the end of the day the other religions went through this centuries ago and that time was rightly called the dark ages, and until Muslims stand up and refuse to accept such atrocities committed in the name of their God all we can do is get as much of history as we can out of their hands and document all that we can't. As we have seen in Iraq and Afghanistan anything that doesn't have the name of the prophet on it WILL end up destroyed just as religious leaders during the dark ages took priceless ancient Greek books and reused the pages to make prayer books to their God.

      I've said it before and I'll say it again, the best thing anybody could ever do for humanity is take every single religious text and destroy them, the evil they cause far outweighs the good.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by AC-x (735297)

        It is how Neil Degrasse Tyson said when talking about how religion can kill progress "The Arab world was the center of science and mathematics for centuries, and then came Islam"

        You mean the Islamic golden age [wikipedia.org]? Which many consider to have ended at the destruction of Baghdad by the Mongols [wikipedia.org]?

      • by omnichad (1198475)

        all we can do is get as much of history as we can out of their hands and document all that we can't.

        Preserve History

        I've said it before and I'll say it again, the best thing anybody could ever do for humanity is take every single religious text and destroy them, the evil they cause far outweighs the good.

        Destroy History

        You are a confused person.

    • by Cardoor (3488091) on Friday September 05, 2014 @09:14AM (#47833789)
      It's a real shame this has been upmodded. Saying 'Egyptian Muslims' have called for the pyramid's destruction, when in fact, it was one egyptian jihadist is like saying "American Christians" call for the eradication of All Non-White Humans just because one ex-con neo-nazi in wisconsin with a youtube channel calls for it. Your statement is inflammatory, bigoted, and shamefully racist.

      Secondly, and a bit off-topic - while i find it abhorrent that the taliban destroyed the buddha statues, after spending a lot of time in southeast asia and visiting many buddhist temples (and being very appreciate of the teachings of the buddha), i always find it remarkably paradoxical that all these statues of buddha exist. They are a part of our human cultural history and should be absolutely preserved, but we should learn from the paradox they present. What many people don't know is that (according to the story), before the buddha died, he left a few explicit statements and instructions.. 1) hey y'all... im NOT coming back. don't wait for a second coming. im OUT. 2) DON'T make any statues of me. im not a god. i don't want to be worshipped. seriously. and 3) if you MUST do something.. you can go visit 4 places that i dig.. birthplace, deathplace, where he achieved enlightenment, and the deer park where he gave his first teaching. (ive been to 3 of the 4 fyi).

      people just can't help themselves.. we get a genuinely inspired and evolved human being, he leaves instructions, and people twist and distort it to the point it becomes a religion used to manipulate people instead of inspire to evolve. It's a curious thing that all the 'teachers' that came basically said the same thing.. Judaeo/Christian ten commandments.. don't make graven images.... Islam: Don't make images of the Prophet Muhammed.. Buddhism - no statues. Maybe their original message was the same.. not don't do these things or suffer retribution.. but dont do these things because by doing so, you're missing the point. As the saying goes, 'the finger is not the moon.'

      lastly, i like to joke that after buddha died, people looked at each other and said "you know.. he DID say no statues... but did he say no GOLDEN or GIANT statues??? obviously he'd be cool with that! huzzah!"
    • Egyptian Muslims have already called for the destruction of the pyramids and the sphinx [independent.co.uk], juts like the Buddhas of Bamiyan [wikipedia.org].

      A few radicals =/= an entire country/culture. But don't let that get in the way of a good old generalization.

      • by stdarg (456557)

        Your mistake is that it doesn't take "an entire country/culture" to destroy the pyramids, just like destroying the Buddhas of Bamiyan didn't take the concerted effort of every Muslim in Afghanistan.

  • to build a new one that can resist earthquakes?

  • but in a difficult political and economic climate for the country,

    Yeah, maybe if they would let some competent people into the country to deal with the pyramids again, this wouldn't happen.

    • by Cardoor (3488091)
      we can also design their government healthcare website for them
      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        we can also design their government healthcare website for them

        I sure wouldn't hand the job over to our federal government... or to one of its contractors.

  • "The Step Pyramid of Djoserat Saqqara"

    should be "The Step Pyramid of Djoser at Saqqara"
    spotted it as soon as I saw it..., very poor error to make indeed
  • Mayan temples too (Score:5, Interesting)

    by tomhath (637240) on Friday September 05, 2014 @08:16AM (#47833497)
    Many of the early Mayan and Aztec structures in Latin America have been "restored" in the name of tourism to make them more comfortable. Nicer steps, higher doorways, etc. They're not as well known as the Egyptian pyramids but every bit as historically significant.
  • by hyades1 (1149581) <hyades1@hotmail.com> on Friday September 05, 2014 @01:31PM (#47835943)

    This reminds me of a documentary I saw at least 20 years ago. It was about how Egypt was throwing out Western restoration experts and putting its own people in to work on some mummies that had been returned from various museums around the word.

    One expert was being interviewed while she worked on a sarcophagus. In the middle of her comment about how she and her colleagues were every bit as competent as the "foreigners" who'd been sent packing, she managed to accidentally pry off a big chunk of it, which fell on the floor and broke. I didn't know whether to laugh or cry.

    I see nothing's changed.

The number of arguments is unimportant unless some of them are correct. -- Ralph Hartley

Working...