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Modern tomb raiding

March 28, 2013

Is your country in civil and political disarray? Its leaders, politicians, clerics and elders completely unable to provide a stable and safe state?

Has law and order broken down, authority gone on holiday, society shamelessly crumbling?

Do your national monuments and museums lack security and infrastructure? Manpower and funding?

Do you want to rape your country of its heritage, shamelessly plundering its artistic and cultural resources?

Do you want to flog a priceless ancient artefact on the internet or a street stall to a passing tourist without a trace of irony, conscience or guilt?

If you have answered “Yes” to these questions you are in Egypt, and your country’s cultural wealth is ripe for the picking.

. Read our step-by-step guide and learn how to be the next Ahmed Jones or Selma Croft.

Where can I do it?

Pretty much anywhere. Egypt is littered with monuments, tombs, temples and pyramids. Start off in your back yard and work outwards. You can even try archaeological stores or museum cellars.

When should I do it?

Because of the temperature I would suggest dusk going into night. Wrap up warm though, it can get nippy.

What will I need?

A rucksack in which to carry your swag – I mean discoveries
A hand shovel and scraper to scrape away surface debris and sand
A shovel to dig with
A pick to break-up hard stone and mud-brick walls
A torch for illumination
A ladder for easy descent and ascent
Rope for hauling purposes
Wood and/or RSJ to shore-up tunnels and to maintain structural integrity
A metal detector
A notebook and pencil
Cash and cigarettes for bribes

Tomb theft level 1: Surface clutter

Take your metal detector to a place of interest. Sweep the head in a slow, wide ark in an attempt to locate metallic objects. Shriek for joy when you hear a high pitched tone. Drop to your knees and scrape away surface sand and dust.

Prepare for crushing disappointment – a huge percentage of ancient Egyptian artefacts are non-metallic. You have probably discovered a coke can.

Tomb theft level 2: Sub-surface clutter

Take your hand shovel and dig. Carry on digging until you are shattered or bored. After this point go to a point of interest such as a temple complex or valley. Sink a trench, make it as long and deep as you can. If you are lucky you might find some broken pottery.

Tomb theft level 3: Tombs, pyramids and temples

Time for the big guns. Locate a sufficiently dramatic looking tomb. Be prepared to meet minimal disruption from any guards that may still be working. Administer your bribe of cash and cigarettes. After this point the guards should miraculously turn blind. If no guards are encountered, carry on regardless. At this juncture you may wish to hire a local to either do the manual labour whilst you sit on a deck chair and drink warm beer, or you could use him as a look-out.

Commence digging and shoring up as you go. This could take many nights, so be prepared for an aching back.

When you reach the target break through the mud-brick walls and enter the building.

Take what you want.

Alternatively you could simply waltz into an unmaintained tomb or temple and simply pick up a statue or trinket of your choice. Either keep this priceless piece of art, this snapshot of anthropology, history and civilisation, or sell it.

If you don’t wish to get your hands dirty you could always go to a market where you will find a middle kingdom ushabti next to a crate of chickens. Or a canopic jar flanked by pirate copies of Dark Knight Rises and Ted. Or you could pick up a statuette of Horus that stands precariously balanced on a carton of lethal cigarettes.

However you do it, you too can shamelessly rape a country of its culture. You too can deny history its story, the youth of Egypt its pride. Yes, if you follow this simple guide, you too could join the ranks of Gentleman archaeologists who have managed to desecrate, violate and metaphorically crap upon one of the world’s greatest, most influencial civilisations.

Or, you could stay at home and read a book.


From → Culture, History, Humour

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