Egyptian site holds a timeless record
From AlAhram Weekly of Cairo:
It seems incredible to us today that such an important archaeological site should have been so neglected for so long. In 1943, when French Egyptologist Etienne Drioton was director-general of the Antiquities Service, news reached him that workmen were actively engaged in levelling the land to build a military road across the tell. Drioton sent the then antiquities inspector Labib Habashi to check the report. Habashi described the site as "as disaster". He found that a military road to connect Port Said with Alexandria via Mit Ghamr was well underway and already traversed about three feddans of the site. He described the once beautiful temple as a mass of broken papyrus bud columns, pillars and lintels. Blocks of stone with inscribed texts, he wrote in his report, were impacted into the earth, and he confirmed that the tell was still being systematically depleted both for raw material to make bricks for houses in the ever-expanding urban area surrounding it, and by the sebakhin. Antiquities, he wrote, were totally disregarded, "unless they were gold and silver".