Published April 28, 2013
The recent push in Egypt to dig new tombs on protected land is worrying archaeologists, who fear historic sites will be desecrated.
The Guardian reported that more than 1,000 new tombs, which are illegal, have appeared in the desert since January.
Now, a fight pits those burying their dead against archaeologists, who say that looting is becoming a problem in the Manshiet Dahshur region, about 25 miles from Cairo.
"What happened was crazy," Mohamed Youssef, Dahshur's chief archaeologist, told The Guardian. "They came and took space for about 20 generations.”
The tombs are being built near some of Egypt’s prominent monuments, including the pyramids of Dahshur.
"Some of them have a real need for the tombs for their families," Youssef said. "But when you have 1,000 people, some of them will want to do illegal excavation."
More than 500 illegal excavations have happened in Dahshur since the 2011 uprising against former President Hosni Mubarak, The Guardian reports.