FILE - Giza Pyramids - Flickr/Tommy Wong
CAIRO - 5 February 2019: Tourism and Antiquities police managed to arrest an offender for illegally excavating two trenches inside his house near the Giza Pyramids to search for monuments, according to reports on Tuesday.
The illegal excavation in Nazlet al-Samman area led to the discovery of an ancient burial site including six incomplete wall-relief statues, a statement by the General Administration of Tourism and Antiquities Police revealed. The statement did not specify the age of the items discovered.
Law No. 117 of 1983 imposes a prison term of 5 to 7 years and a fine of not less than LE 5,000($284) and not more than LE 7,000 ($397) on anyone who is proven guilty of illegal excavation for antiquities.
An ancient tomb was unearthed beneath a house in Giza, near the more than 4,000-year-old pyramids, after an excavation was carried out by the house owner, Tourism Police said in a statement on Feb. 3.
The house owner was arrested as he excavated illegally. As per the law of antiquities, any excavations should be conducted after getting permission from the Supreme Council of Antiquities or from the Tourism Police Department; then, a committee should be formed by officials from the two bodies to check the presence of ancient artifacts.
However, several illegal excavations have been reported recently because the owners of the archaeological sites are not compensated appropriately by the government.