Thursday, September 03, 2015

Sarcophagus at Ashkelon

DISCOVERY: Unique 1,800-Year-Old Sarcophagus Found at Ashkelon Building Site. An extremely rare sarcophagus has been uncovered at a building site in Ashkelon (Hana Levi Julian, The Jewish Press).
The find is among the rarest sarcophagi ever discovered in Israel. The coffin, made of hard limestone, weighs approximately two tons, is 2.5 meters long, and is sculpted on all sides. A life-size figure of a person is carved on the lid of the sarcophagus.

The unique artifact was repeatedly struck by a tractor in different places, scarring the stone and damaging the decorations sculpted by an artist on its sides. The irreparable damage was caused by the contractors who encountered the impressive sarcophagus during the course of their work.

They decided to hide it, pulling it out of the ground with a tractor while aggressively damaging it, and then concealing it beneath a stack of sheet metal and boards. They poured a concrete floor in the lot so as to conceal any evidence of the existence of the antiquities site.
A couple of contractors and others could be in a good deal of legal trouble over this.