Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Israel: Metal Detectorist Caught Causing Damage to Archaeological Record

Haul of some 150 ancient coins discovered with
 an antiquities robber in Ramat Hanegev region
(photo: Guy Fitoussi, Israel Antiquities Authority)
Antiquities authority's theft prevention unit discovered a 50-year old resident of Bir Hadaj using a metal detector at the Haluza UNESCO World Heritage Site 10 km to the NW of the town (Amanda Borschel-Dan, 'Negev antiquities robber nabbed with trove of 150 Byzantine-era coinsTimes of Israel 29 January 2018). Found on him was a haul of  some 150 coins (Nabatean, Roman and Byzantine period) dating from circa the 1st century CE or slightly earlier to the 6th century CE. Guy Fitoussi, an officer in the Israel Antiquities Authority’s theft prevention unit said that:
the team catches many who are looking for coins in the Negev area. In the case of the Bir Hadaj resident caught on Sunday, they were tipped off by a concerned citizen who called the police. 

Treasure hunters in the region are causing huge amounts of destruction. Fitoussi says the problem is getting worse.

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