Arsonists in northern Israel torched two storerooms filled with artifacts found at a nearby salvage excavation at Tel Kishon on Monday. Some of the antiquities were over 4,000 years old.
The blaze inflicted irreparable damage to the antiquities, the Israel Antiquities Authority said in a statement Tuesday morning. The authority lodged a report with the police, who opened an investigation into the incident.
The excavations at Tel Kishon were being conducted to prevent damage to artifacts during roadwork on Route 65, near Mount Tabor in the Galilee. Among the antiquities found, and damaged in the blaze, were Bronze Age pottery and weapons from the late 4th millennium and early third millennium BCE.
“It’s significant and serious damage to the study of historical objects [belonging to] everyone,” Dr. Amir Golani, the IAA archaeologist running the dig, said.