Rising water threatens great temples of Egypt

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Some of the world's most precious archaeological treasures - the ancient Egyptian tombs and temples at Luxor - are being devastated by salt water that is eating their foundations, scientists have discovered.

The temples of Amun, Luxor and Karnak, designated World Heritage Sites, have survived 4,000 years of arid desert heat but are now being destroyed by rising ground water.

The threat has been uncovered by American Egyptologists, who have warned that urgent action is now needed. Their view has been backed by Zahi Hawass, secretary-general of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities. 'When I found out the Temple of Luxor and the Temple of Karnak were going to completely fall apart because of the rising water table, I was shocked,' Hawass said in an interview in Science.

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