Hebrew Bible and ANE History Lists Commentary

News and Comments that relate to the Hebrew Bible and to my posts on various ANE and Hebrew Bible related mailing lists - Yitzhak Sapir

Monday, February 27, 2006

Ashdod Museum Exhibit on Antiquities Theft

Ynet and a Israel Antiquities Authority press release (both Hebrew) reported on a new stolen antiquities exhibit at the Ashdod Museum two weeks ago. Following up to the recent confiscation of antiquities in a Jerusalem souvenir shop, here is a translation:

New Exhibit: Antiquities Theft in Israel
by David Hakohen

Some of the items were stolen from the above cave
Photo source: Israel Antiquities Authority
A new exhibit was opened recently at the Corine Maman Ashdod Museum, titled "Antiquities Theft in Israel," where ancient artifacts of all ages that have been confiscated by the Antiquities Theft Prevention Unit of the Israel Antiquities Authority are on display for the first time.
On display at the exhibit are dozens of items that have been stolen from Jewish burial caves of the Second Temple period, from sunk ships at the bottom of the sea, various pots and shards of the Byzantine period that were confiscated in a raid at the home antiquities thieves at Wadi Ara, glass items, clay lamps and jewelry that are typical of the Roman and Byzantine periods, and coin hoards and bronze utensils that were stolen from secret underground systems in the Bar-Kokhba period.

From the "World of the Philistines" exhibit
Photo source:www.ilmuseums.com
The exhibit illustrates the issue of antiquities theft in Israel with the artifacts and pictures: the phenomenon, the people, the thieves, the middlemen, the trade and the collectors. Furthermore, some of the texts deal with the Antiquities Law and its enforcement by the Israel Antiquities Authority. The Museum's curator, Yael Wiesel, noted that some of the artifacts are of unknown provenance.

The exhibit will be on display until June 2006, next to the regular exhibit, "The Philistine's World."

Ashdod News reports that among the displays will be a thief during arrest, an ancient marble column found in a private living room, ancient architectural items that were placed as part of a Caesarea home garden, and an ancient coin hoard imprinted with the figure of Alexander the Great of unknown provenance.

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