Archaeology Magazine

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Looted Bone Boxes Recovered in Jerusalem

Monday, March 31, 2014

(the IAA Unit for the Prevention of Antiquities Robbery)JERUSALEM, ISRAEL—Eleven ossuaries containing bone fragments and pottery were recovered last week in a joint operation between officials from the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) and the Shefet police, who interrupted a clandestine transaction and arrested several suspects. Some of the 2,000-year-old bone boxes are elaborately carved with Jewish symbols and text in Hebrew and Greek, and two were inscribed with names. The ossuaries are thought to have been recently looted from a burial cave in Jerusalem that may have been uncovered during a construction project. “We can learn from each ossuary about a different aspect of language, art and burial practice,” Eitan Klein, deputy director of the IAA, told Haaretz