Officers of the Robbery Prevention Unit of the Israel Antiquities Authority apprehended 11 antiquities raiders at the archaeological site of Horbat Mishkena, a Roman-era Jewish town in Lower Galilee in Israel.
The suspects, 11 men of Arabic descent, were caught while conducting an illegal dig in the ancient shelter system, causing great deal of damage to the ancient site. The ancient site is believed to be named in Jerusalem Talmud, as “Mishkena”, a village located halfway between “Tiberius” and “Zippori”. The shelter system was used during the Bar Kokhba Revolt in the 2nd century AD.
According to the authorities this was the capture of antiquities thieves which has ever occurred in the north of Israel. Nine of the suspects were apprehended just as they were exploring the underground shafts of the shelter system and two others were captured by the entrance to the system trying to escape. The men were looking for underground spaces with burials in order to extract ancient valuable artefacts from them. Their actions are said to destroy historic relics and erasing valuable archaeological contexts.
(after Arutz Sheva)