Friday, 6 February 2015

Artefact Hunters Arrested in National Park, Israel

"Three Bedouin men"  all in their 30s had driven in their SUV from a village outside Beersheba equipped with a sophisticated metal detector and digging equipment. They were arrested for breaking into and attempting to loot an ancient burial site (Byzantine-era tomb) in Ashkelon National Park.
“They broke into the ancient tombs and during their digging caused irreparable damage to gravestones, ancient pottery, and coffins,” said IAA robbery unit inspector and archeologist Guy Fitoussi. Noting that numerous antiquity sites in the southern port city area have been looted over the last several months, Fitoussi said he and his team have initiated nightly stakeouts to catch suspects. Fitoussi said the three men were arrested and taken for questioning by Ashkelon police. During their interrogation, he said the suspects denied looting the site, claiming that they were searching for worms to fish with at a nearby dock. An Ashkelon Magistrate’s Court judge ordered them remanded pending an investigation.
Source: Daniel K. Eisenbud, ' Tomb raiders arrested in Ashkelon National Park for looting, damaging ancient site Jerusalem Times 1st Feb 2015.

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