Late last year we covered the story of two German ‘amateur archaeologists’ who had chipped some stone off the wall in the relieving chambers of the Great Pyramid of Khufu, with the goal of dating it to see if the orthodox timeline for the pyramid’s construction held up. I noted at the time that despite their lack of credentials, the pair seemed to have official permission to do some research within the pyramid, and that heads might roll as a result.
Fast forward a year, and that is exactly what has happened:
An Egyptian court sentenced three Germans and six Egyptians to five years jail on Tuesday for stealing fragments of a pharaonic artifact from Cairo’s Great Pyramid, a judicial source said.
A court in Giza, south of the capital, sentenced in absentia three Germans — who had claimed they were researchers — for stealing pieces of an ancient scroll bearing the name of the Pharaoh Khufu, as well as rock samples, the source said.
Six Egyptians, including three employees of the antiquities ministry, two pyramid guards and the director of a travel agency, were also jailed for five years for aiding the robbery, the source said.
I’m not sure what this “ancient scroll bearing the name of Khufu” is though – unless there is some confusion and they are referring to Khufu’s name being written on the stone wall of the relieving chamber.
And the rolling heads may get bigger in the near future as well, with Zahi Hawass now under investigation over claims he helped the German vandals.