ANTINOOPOLIS SITE "BEING DESTROYED"
AS EGYPT DESCENDS INTO LAWLESSNESS
AS Egypt descends into lawlessness and chaos, the last remnants of the sacred city of ANTINOOPOLIS are "being destroyed" by local villagers who no longer face apprehension by authorities.
The last major structures, such as the giant hippodrome, are being leveled to make room for cemeteries, according to Dr. Salima Ikram, professor of Egyptology at the American University in Cairo.
And farmers are plowing under portions of the archaeological dig site located adjacent to the village of Sheikh Abada, she added.
"Sheikh Abada, ancient Roman Antinoopolis, south of Malawi, in Middle Egypt, is being destroyed systematically," Dr. Ikram said in a frantic appeal for help on Facebook.
"The hippodrome, as large as the Circus Maximus in Rome, has been flattened and laid out with cemeteries," she added.
"The northwestern corner of the walled city has been bulldozed for agriculture, and the area near the Ramesses II temple has been bulldozed and levelled as the town is expanding there," she said in an urgent appeal to archaeologists around the world.
"We need to stop this. Archaeologists are meeting with the Ministry of State for Antiquities," to see how to restore order in that part of Upper Egypt.
The alarming news comes amidst a widespread LOOTING EPIDEMIC that is sweeping Egypt all up and down the Nile Valley.
After all, it has happened before at Antinoopolis.
In his authoritative book BELOVED AND GOD, historian Royston Lambert describes the systematic destruction of the Sacred City, which was still thriving when the Arabs invaded ....
"Saladin (1137-93) emerges in the chronicles to order the great doors of the theatre arch to a gate in Cairo where they were still to be seen in the eighteenth century. More ominously, he is said to have ordered the city's demolition, though other Arab writers speak contradictorily of its extensive remains.
"The final destruction is charged indubitably to modern man. When Sigard toured the city in 1715 it was already in ruins. For centuries the locals had used it as a quarry for their homes, mosques and cemeteries. The north and east gates were piles of stones, the colonnades mainly fallen, but the western and southern gates stood substantially intact, architectural features were everywhere visible and even the minor streets could be discerned."
"Even the nitrous soil, rich in papyri, was carted off in loads to supply a gunpowder establishment or nibbled away by the ever-active nitre-gatherers of the valley, the sebbakhin.
"By the 1880s Dr. Freund, reporting back to Dietrichson, wailed: 'The Egyptians seek the last stone, the last piece of burnt brick'. He encountered great piles of recently smashed up stones and shafts. Nevertheless there were a few stumps of columns still obstinately standing and 'everywhere fragments of lovely marbles, remains of panels from houses and splendid remains of columns'.
"When in 1913 Johnson took the first photographs, Antinoopolis had vanished along with the meretricious local prosperity which had consumed it. His prints reveal a ravaged landscape of rubbish and shard tips and of trenches, like a torn battlefield of the coming World War, across which some paving from the great thoroughfare, now shrunken to a ghostly path, arbitrarily and sadly makes its way.
"By the irony of time, the scene which meets modern eyes at that bend of the Nile — with its desolate plain, fringe of palms, miserable village and archaic temple — has reverted back two millennia to that which Antinous may well have glimpsed in his expiring struggles before his head sank finally beneath the waters."