Stolen artefacts seized on Egyptian highway

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Egyptian police have confiscated a hoard of 863 artefacts from a man travelling on the Cairo-Suez highway on Wednesday.

Stolen artefacts seized on Egyptian highway
Over 500 Ptolemaic and Roman coins were among the looted artefacts [Credit: Ahram Online]

The man was trying to escape from a police ambush after police stopped his vehicle for inspection. He was later arrested and  has been detained pending further investigations. 

The collection includes objects from ancient, Graeco-Roman, and Islamic periods of Egyptian history.

Youssef Khalifa, head of the Confiscated Antiquities Section at the antiquities ministry, told Ahram Online that all the objects were genuine except for a dozen very accurate replicas.

The collection includes 180 small amulets, 10 scarabs, 120 Ptolemaic coins, 407 bronze Roman coins and three Osirian wooden statues from the late period.   

Stolen artefacts seized on Egyptian highway
Black granite statue of Hathor dated to the New Kingdom [Credit: Ahram Online]

There was also a very well preserved limestone basin from the Old Kingdom outlined with hieroglyphic text and the name of King Senefru’s purification priest. Senefru was the founder of the fourth dynasty and the father of King Khufu, the builder of the Great Pyramid at Giza.

A limestone stele depicting a bust of the god Ptah and a black granite statue of the goddess Hathor were also among the collection.

Antiquities Minister Mohamed Ibrahim said early investigations prove the objects were stolen from illicit excavations at various archaeological sites and a team from the ministry would study every object to discover its original location.

Author: Nevine El-Aref | Source: Ahram Online [January 24, 2013]

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