Two Thousand Year-Old Ossuaries

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Monday, March 31, 2014.  Two Thousand Year-Old Ossuaries Containing Jewish Bones from the Second Temple Period were Seized this Weekend in Jerusalem. In a joint operation conducted by the Shefet Police and the Israel Antiquities Authority *** The ossuaries were allegedly plundered recently from an magnificent ancient burial cave in the Jerusalem region. A number of suspects were apprehended in the early hours of Friday (28.3) in a joint operation by inspectors of the IAA Unit for the Prevention of Antiquities Robbery and detectives and patrolmen of the Shefet police station in Jerusalem. They were caught while in possession of eleven decorated stone ossuaries – ancient coffins – that the Jewish population used for burial in the Second Temple period, two thousand years ago. Some of the ossuaries still contained the skeletal remains of the deceased. The suspects – residents of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and the Arab village of Abadiyah, in the vicinity of Bethlehem – were caught red-handed by a team of patrolmen and detectives from the Shefet Station in Jerusalem when they were closing a deal to sell the ossuaries to Jewish merchants, near the Hizma checkpoint north of Jerusalem.
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