This 35,000-year-old axe is being returned to Egypt - press photo
CAIRO - 28 January 2017: Louvein University in Belgium handed over a 35,000-year-old axe to the Egyptian Embassy in Brussels after the completion of archaeological and scientific studies earlier this month,
The stone axe and a human skeleton were discovered buried in a grave in Nazlet Khater, an archaeological site in Sohag, Upper Egypt, by the Louvain mission, Shaaban Abdel-Gawad, the supervisor-general of the Antiquities Repatriation Department, said in a
The skeleton was already returned to Egypt, in August 2015, he added.
Hundreds of Egyptian antiquities were stolen from the country over the last six years and the government should exert more efforts to retrieve them, Reda Ahmed, Prof. of Egyptian Antiquities at Mansoura University, told Egypt Today.
Ahmed suggested Egypt should go to UNESCO to make a complaint about European museums that display stolen antiquities and cooperate with other governorates to hand over such antiquities.
Ibrahim el-Desoky, professor of historical geography at South Valley University, told Egypt Today that the axe and the skeleton are so important because both are considered some of the oldest artifacts of the Paleolithic era, more than 35,000 years ago.
They date to the oldest prehistoric civilizations in old Egypt, when human species lived in Egypt's hills and after reached the valley of the Nile, Desoky added.
A number of artifacts have been returned to Egypt in recent years. In January 2017, the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities received four historical pieces after the Ministry of Foreign affairs got them from the U.S.,
However, there are many artifacts still missing.
“We have no numbers about looted antiquities, especially after the 25 January Uprising,” Ali Ahmed Ali, the person responsible for retrieving looted Egyptian antiquities, told
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