Monday, January 28, 2019

Raiders of the lost Shivta finds

EXHIBITION: Remnants of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Shivta Were Long Believed Lost in a Fire. Then a Letter Surfaced. Objects from the Negev archaeology site, found through a 1938 letter from a customs clerk, are now on display at Haifa’s Hecht Museum (Nir Hasson, Haaretz premium).

Harris Dunscombe Colt sounds like a feckless archaeologist, even for the early twentieth century. If Indy had found out that Mr. Colt was selling artifacts from Shivta on the antiquities market, he would have grabbed him by the necktie and said, "They belong in a museum."

Fortunately Mr. Colt's fecklessness extended to forgetting a crate of precious small finds from Shivta on a dock at the Haifa Port. This article tells the story of how two intrepid archaeologists tracked them down last year, and so the finds ended up in this exhibition.

I have already mentioned the Shivta exhibition at the Hecht Museum here, but this article tells much more about its background. Follow the links for recent posts on the Shivta excavation and the many important discoveries there.

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