There are few reports of attempted looting in Middle Egypt: Missions in Amarna, Aswan and Antinoe all reported early on that their sites are undisturbed. I have received a report on 2nd February by email indicating that attempts were made over the weekend of 29th/30th January by a large group of men to rob the open air museum at Ashmunein, and also an attempt was made to open the magazine at Bahnasa. Both attempts were foiled by local security personnel. Similarly, the magazines at Amarna are currently secure. They remain under guard. The general practice being adopted is to build additional stone and concrete walls to protect magazines.
On 2nd February, the Minister for Antiquities Dr Hawass reported that, “The temples of Dendera, Abydos, the sites in Akhmim, and all sites in Middle Egypt, such as Tuna el-Gebel, Amarna, and Beni Hasan, are safe.” But see below for a revised report of a break in at Tuna el-Gebel and the separate page for an update on Abydos. Also, in March 2012, the police seized 68 allegedly stolen Greek and Roman artefacts from a house in Minya.
On 2nd June unverified reports surfaced that a boundary stella was destroyed. Confirmation either way is awaited and the reliability of the report is doubtful.
Encroachment remains an ongoing problem and Inspectors successfully halted encroachment near Al-Hagg Qandi (for now) in spring 2013.
Antinoupolis (Sheikh Abada)
Monica Hanna is reported by the Egyptian Independent documenting significant destruction of the site at Antinoupolis, saying in March 2013, “Hanna said that some of the damages occurred to the site, saying that the area near the Ramses II temple has been bulldozed and leveled. She added that the northwestern corner of the walled city has been bulldozed and for agricultural use.”
As of 1st February, the Beni Suef Museum is believed safe. On 10th April six men were arrested “in a village called Beni Suef, part of 6th of October City, where soldiers noticed them digging. ” An unverified comment on this site (April 2012) suggests that Abusir Almalaq has been looted and that looting continues with fragments of bone and coffins on the surface.
Early reports that Ehnasya (Herakleopolis Magna) was looted were hopefully wrong as on 17th February Maria Carmen Pérez Die. Director of Spanish Archaeological Mission reported cofirmation from the SCA that the site had not been looted and that the magazine was intact.
The site remains secure (3rd February) and the archaeological team are intending to remain on site for now.
Dr Salima Ikram has reported on FaceBook Sohag is secure and Nathan fine.
On 11th February, Dr Hawass reported the theft of two mummies from the storage magazine at Tuna el Gebel.
I received a report from the chief of the tourist police that criminals had entered the storage magazine in Tuna el Gebel. This report indicated that two mummies, dating to the Roman Period, were missing. However, the curator has also sent me a report saying that nothing actually happened at the magazine. I hope to receive further information on this matter very soon.