Tom Caldwell writes:
No splitting of the proceeds, finders fee or anything for the hoard found off the coast of Israel? Outrageous! For some the unintended consequence
will to break the law and not report such finds.
Via Flickr, Stuart writes:
The Israeli authorities confiscated the entire lot and the finders received nothing in reward of their efforts and expense in recovering the
hoard. This is an ill-wind for numismatics because that part of the world is extremely rich in antiquities and numismatic heritage, and finders will
be more encouraged to syphon off finds and hoards into the black market and so the potential knowledge from such finds will be lost. Even worse,
It is amazing that this hoard, one of the most significant ever found, has remained intact and available for numismatic study. It will be
interesting to read the report on this hoard when it is published but God knows when!
No surprisingly, here's a new article headlined, "Israel struggles to stop archaeological site raids" -Editor
The staff of the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) gets very nervous whenever news breaks that a large archaeological treasure has been found. That
is what happened Feb. 17, when amateur divers discovered a treasure trove of rare, ancient coins near the ancient port town of Caesarea. “We know
that the discovery of a treasure of this size, and the publicity that such a find receives in the media causes people to think that they can find
treasures just about anywhere,” Eitan Klein, deputy director of the Unit to Prevent Antiquities Theft at the IAA, told Al-Monitor.
Klein said, “People take the law into their own hands and set out to find antiquities themselves, even though this means breaking the law and
causing destruction to important archaeological sites. For the most part, they don’t even find anything. What was discovered last week is the kind of
thing that happens just once every 50 years.”
Israel has been considered a major crossroads of international commerce throughout almost all of human history. As such, it is full of
archaeological sites. The IAA estimates that there are about 30,000 such sites in the country, most of them not even fenced off. Anyone who wants to
can start digging. And as it turns out, a lot of people do.
The IAA believes that the discovery of some 2,000 gold coins dating to the year 1000 at the bottom of the sea, in the submerged ancient port of
Caesarea, will send the imagination of the country’s antiquities robbers into overdrive.
Just last December, a gang of six Palestinians was caught stealing antiquities in the Cave of Skulls in the Judean Desert. They were hoping to
find ancient scrolls from the Second Temple period, and were carrying numerous artifacts including a lice comb from the Roman era. In another case, a
gang of gold robbers was uncovered in the Hefer Valley, in the coastal central region of the country, while excavating a cave from the
Roman-Byzantine period, 1,800 years ago, as well as Ottoman artifacts from 500 years ago, hoping to find gold there. On Feb. 1, robbers were caught
breaking into ancient tombs in the Tel Ashkelon area. In their defense, they claimed that they were “just looking for worms to use as fishing
To read the complete article, see:
Israel struggles to stop
archaeological site raids (www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2015/02/israel-palestinians-antiques-raiders-gold-coin-trove-theft.html#)
To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
ISRAELI SCUBA DIVERS FIND GOLD COIN CACHE (www.coinbooks.org/esylum_v18n08a27.html)
Wayne Homren, Editor
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