Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Two treasure hunters at Beit Shemesh, Israel

Two treasure hunters were apprehended at an archaeological site near Beit Shemesh (a northern district of Jerusalem) in Israel which they trashed in their search for gold.

The robbers, both Bedouin residents of Dimona, brought digging equipment to the Be’er Limon site late last week, and proceeded to operate there for several nights. On Thursday, in the pouring rain, the pair smashed the walls of a 2,000-year-old well located under a structure from the Crusader Period. They dug deep holes in the ground, causing what the Israel Antiquities Authority deemed as “irreversible damage.” The suspects said during questioning that they were searching for a treasure. They claimed that a legend, passed on from generation to generation, asserted one of their forefathers buried gold in the old stones.

Do we ever see reports of Israeli looters looting sites in Israel? Or do they only report the Arabs in their newspapers? We certainly see sales by Israeli dealers of cultural property which has in all probability been looted somewhere in the region, whether on the Israeli side of the border or from outside it is never specified.

Omri Efraim, 'Gold diggers ravage archeological site', ynetnews 01.09.12

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