Dozens of burial tombs untouched for millennia lie open and ransacked of their contents. Mounds of earth signal the location of other illicit excavations.
The looters "work from sunset to sunrise. It's systematic; it's open; it's in front of everyone," says Monica Hanna, 29, an archaeologist.
Tomb raiding in Egypt dates to antiquity; however, since the fall of former dictator Hosni Mubarak in 2011, the plunder appears to have become more widespread, and more professional.
The thieves are organized in gangs; some are armed and violent. The tomb sites were guarded well for decades but after Mubarak's ouster the once-feared police services simply melted away.
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