The new Egyptian ruins

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If tourism persists at the current rate in Egypt, the Sphinx may soon need more than just a nose job. NEW SCIENTIST reports that tourists are destroying prehistoric sites in Egypt’s Western Desert with a recklessness never seen before. “Unless urgent measures are taken, Egypt will be left with not one prehistoric site intact,” said Rudolph Kuper of the University of Cologne.

Egypt has already lost all the known prehistoric sites along the Nile valley to land reclamation and building projects. Now, a crisis is building in the Wadi Sura, or “Valley of Pictures,” where visitors are pouring water over paintings — some of which are 7,000 years old — to make them more easily visible. This draws salt to the surface and makes the paintings erode faster. Tour operators have been no help, either — their off-road vehicles are scattering artifacts at thousands of unexcavated sites.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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