AN ancient Egyptian temple dating back to Ptolemaic times has been "discovered" by looters digging illegally under the house of a schoolmaster in a town not far from Antinoopolis.
Responding to a tip, police raided the house in Sohag and arrested the schoolmaster and six alleged accomplices ... all local residents.
The police then found a gaping hole in the floor of the house opening onto a pit nine meters deep, leading to two subterranean chambers with limestone floors and walls decorated with frescoes and hieroglyphs.
Sadly, it is an ages-old practice in Egypt for villagers to build houses over places where they can "accidentally" unearth ancient treasures by digging tunnels under their homes.
They also expand cemeteries into archaeological dig sites so that excavation of new graves can "accidentally" reveal more ancient treasures.
Archaeologists working at ANTINOOPOLIS (also known as Antinoe) say local villagers have bulldozed much of the dig site ... ostensibly to create new space for housing and graves.
Even worse, mafia-like organizations FORCE CHILDREN to crawl into narrow tunnels to search for treasure ... resulting in scores of deaths every year.