Groundwater threatens Egyptian treasures

Jan 01, 2008

Encroaching groundwater threatens the foundations, columns and walls of Egyptian treasures in Cairo's Giza Plateau, scientists and engineers say.

Some flooding caused by farming, urban development and residential housing near the monuments already has begun, Kyodo News reported Monday.

Reda Mohamed el-Damak, director of the Center of Studies and Designs for Water Projects at Cairo University, told the Japanese news agency that groundwater poses a threat to the fabled Sphinx, carved from the bedrock of the Giza Plateau.

"It is not pure water, but rather sewage containing toxic waste and chemicals'' that is causing structural damage, Damak said.

Damak leads a team of scientists trying to save relics from groundwater, which hydrologists said comes from the nearby el-Mansuriya Canal, a drainage channel located less than a mile from the Sphinx.

Hafez Abdel Azim Ahmed, director of the university's Archaeological and Environmental Engineering Center, said residents of Nazlet el-Samman at the foot of the pyramids throw garbage into el-Mansuriya Canal, "clogging up the drain and causing the water table to rise and spill over the Sphinx area."

He said one possible way of saving the treasures is draining the water into smaller wells to reduce the water table level.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

Explore further: Oil from Russian trawler wreck reaches Canaries' beaches

Related Stories

Apple wins patent appeal in China

11 minutes ago

Apple has won an appeal in China over patent rights to voice recognition software such as the iPhone's "Siri", with a court overruling an earlier decision that had gone against the US technology giant.

Google search mobile switch a revolution for some

31 minutes ago

Google's latest Internet revolution this week saw the web giant modify its search algorithm to favour mobile-friendly sites, in a bid to upstage Apple that US media branded a "mobilegeddon".

Apple Watch goes on sale—quietly—in Asia

32 minutes ago

The Apple Watch debuted in some Asian markets Friday, but with sales limited to those who had pre-ordered online it was a low-key start with none of the fanfare and fuss usually seen for a launch by the tech ...

Recommended for you

Holistic soil to boost productivity

Apr 24, 2015

Western Australia has launched Soil Constraints – West, a flagship initiative bringing together research on a range of farming problems that limit agricultural production.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.