Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Massive looting in Archelais

THE TEMPLE MOUNT SIFTING PROJECT BLOG: ISIS-Style Destruction of Antiquities, Right Here in Israel. The staff of the Temple Mount Sifting Project made a very disturbing discovery at the site of Archelais, north of Jericho, while on a recreational field trip at the end of 2017.
This is quite possible the biggest archaeological destruction in Israeli history. While the Temple Mount may be a more important site rich in antiquities from all different time periods, in size, the whole-sale destruction, covering about 100 dunams (about 25 acres of land) in Archelais is much larger than that of the south-eastern corner of the Temple Mount. We were shocked. We never saw such massive destruction, and we’ve been working with the Temple Mount material for 13 years. There were hundreds of pits, many trenches, and the entire site was turned over by bulldozers looking for archaeological “hot spots.” We could see many archaeological artifacts strewn across the site, including ashlar stones, pieces of architecture, column drums, and farming tools.

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