web analytics
September 18, 2014 / 23 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post
Apartment 758x530 Africa-Israel at the Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York

Africa Israel Residences, part of the Africa Israel Investments Group led by international businessman Lev Leviev, will present 7 leading projects on the The Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York on Sep 14-15, 2014.



Israel Seizes Two Smuggled Egyptian Sarcophagi Covers Where Mummies Once Slept Eternally

Egyptian antiquities robbers probably plundered ancient tombs in Egypt, then smuggled this treasure out of the country.

Egyptian antiquities robbers probably plundered ancient tombs in Egypt, then smuggled this treasure out of the country.
Photo Credit: Clara Amit, courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority

Inspectors of the Israel Antiquities Authority recently seized two covers of Egyptian sarcophagi that contained ancient mummies in the past. The covers were confiscated by inspectors of the Unit for the Prevention of Antiquities Robbery while checking shops in the market place of the Old City in Jerusalem. The ancient covers, which are made of wood and coated with a layer of plaster, are adorned with breathtaking decorations and paintings of ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics. The coffins were taken for examination on the suspicion they might be stolen property.

After undergoing examination by experts, which included among other things a Carbon 14 analysis for the purpose of dating the wood, it was unequivocally determined that these items are authentic and thousands of years old: one of the covers is dated to the period between the 10th and 8th centuries BCE (Iron Age) and the other to between the 16th and 14th centuries BCE (Late Bronze Age). Because these are rare artifacts made of organic material, they are being held for the time being in custody, under climate-control conditions, in the laboratories of the Israel Antiquities Authority in Jerusalem. Wooden sarcophagi of this kind have only been found in Egypt so far, and were preserved thanks to the dry desert climate that prevails there.

It is suspected that Egyptian antiquities robbers plundered ancient tombs in the region of the Western Desert in Egypt, and afterwards unknown persons smuggled the wooden covers from Egypt to Dubai, and from there they found their way to Israel by way of a third country in Europe. Evidence of their having been smuggled is indicated by the sawing of the covers into two parts, which caused irreparable damage to the ancient items. This was presumably done to reduce their dimensions and facilitate concealing and transporting them in a standard size suitcase. Covers of this kind usually enclosed a sarcophagus made of palm wood c. 2 meters long, which contained the embalmed remains of a person. It is unclear what happened to the mummy and the sarcophagus.

The Israel Antiquities Authority reports that until recently antiquities dealers and other entities have exploited loopholes in the law whereby they brought antiquities into the country for the purpose of “laundering” them. These antiquities, which are alleged to have been plundered in Middle Eastern countries and illegally exported from them, were imported to Israel by local antiquities dealers. In Israel the stolen ancient artifacts were provided documentation that allowed them to be exported and sold abroad to the highest bidder. During the marketing and sales process the dealers would report these antiquities as artifacts that were ostensibly of Israeli provenance.

Regulations regarding the importation of antiquities into Israel were recently amended. The new regulations, which will take effect toward the end of April 2012, require a customs declaration for the importation of antiquities and a preliminary inspection of the items by the Israel Antiquities Authority for the issuance of an import license.

The Israel Antiquities Authority, in cooperation with the Customs and Tax Authority, will prevent the importation of antiquities into the country without proper documentation that indicates they were legally exported from the country of origin, and thereby significantly reduce the process of “antiquities laundering” and the trade in stolen antiquities in the Middle East.

According to Shai Bar-Tura, inspector in charge of overseeing the antiquities trade on behalf of the IAA Unit for the Prevention of Antiquities Robbery, “Beginning April 20 there will be a new reality in the antiquities trade in Israel. The new regulation will provide us with the tools in order to prevent the importation into the country of antiquities that were stolen or plundered in other countries, thus enabling us to thwart the international cycle of robbery and trade in stolen archaeological artifacts”.

The Israel Antiquities Authority is engaged in a continuing effort to preserve and protect the historical heritage values of the State of Israel, and to assist in the international struggle against the robbery of antiquities in the Middle East.

Recently Egyptian authorities submitted a request asking that the stolen sarcophagus covers be repatriated. The Egyptian request is being taken under advisement by the Israel Antiquities Authority, in cooperation with the Israel Police and Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the legalities are currently being examined in order to return the objects to their country of origin.

About the Author: Tibbi Singer is a veteran contributor to publications such as Israel Shelanu and the US supplement of Yedioth, and Jewish Business News.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Israel Seizes Two Smuggled Egyptian Sarcophagi Covers Where Mummies Once Slept Eternally”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Photo from campaign of Robert Rensdell for US senator from Kentucky.
US Senate Campaign Used to Spread Hatred of Jews (and Masks Hatred of Blacks)
Latest News Stories
Dual US-Israeli citizen Steven Sotloff was the second American journalist to be beheaded earlier this summer before ISIS turned its attention to victims from other Western nations.

A massive sting operation hauled in 15 suspects and foiled a plot by ISIS to hold a public beheading in Australia.

A 3-hour strike at Ben Gurion International Airport at check-in counters has delayed thousands.

Photo from campaign of Robert Rensdell for US senator from Kentucky.

Man running for US senate with campaign slogan, ‘With Jews We Lose.’

A home was damaged in a Qassam rocket barrage from Gaza on Friday, August 8, 2014. Miraculously, no one was in the house at the time.

A Code Red incoming rocket alert was sounded for Gaza Belt and Ashkelon Coastal communities.

Have you seen Menachem Bodner’s twin brother Jeno, or Jolli Gottesman? He’s out there.

Iran scorns as “ridiculous” a US-led anti-ISIS coalition without boots on the ground.

A prison inmate on death row in Connecticut is demanding kosher food, though he’s not really Jewish.

Hamas claimed one of the bank’s clients owed them taxes…

Reports from Lebanon say that Israeli Air Force planes flew over the Marjayoun area in Lebanon, launching flares.

Despite previous claims, Hamas now denies they arrested any rocket crews. So, who do we believe?

Western Wall’s employees, remove thousands of handwritten notes placed between the ancient stones of the Kotel, the Western Wall, Judaism’s second holiest site, in the Old City of Jerusalem. The operation is carried out twice each year: before the Passover festival in the spring and at the Jewish New Year in the fall. The prayer […]

A memorial event with a special photo exhibition honoring the late Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon took place on Monday.

The location of the gas chambers at the notorious Sobibor death camp has been revealed, Yad Vashem announced Wednesday.

Gidon Saar shocked and changed Israel’s political landscape today with his unexpected resignation from politics.

British sports store fired security guard who barred Jewish kids from entering the store.

Looming large over any efforts to rebuild Gaza is the ongoing split between Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and his Fatah party, which controls the West Bank, and Hamas, which continues to control the Gaza Strip.

More Articles from Tibbi Singer
Can King Abdullah II of Jordan be saved?

King Abdullah’s participation in the upcoming NATO summit will be of “immeasurable illumination” on the strategy of confronting the Islamic State of Iraq and the Syria (ISIS).

Dual US-Israeli citizen Steven Sotloff was the second American journalist to be beheaded earlier this summer before ISIS turned its attention to victims from other Western nations.

The Islamic State (ISIS) has just released a video showing the beheading of another American journalist, Steven Sotloff, according to a monitoring group.

Soros is basically about short selling, betting on the market to take a dive.

PayPal co-founder Max Levchin netted a reported $34 million when his brainchild was sold to eBay in 2002 for $1.5 billion. Ever since that day, the sometimes weird whiz kid Levchin, now 39, has been trying to do it again.

Blackwell, who has been accused of “inflaming prejudice,” says animals must be stunned before the cut.

But she’s in no hurry to get married, despite the fact that she’s expecting.

The Rebbe will be staying in R. Asher Lev Wolf’s luxurious apartment on Minchat Yitzchak Street in Jerusalem.

Kerry shares many of his unique and original solutions for Jerusalem, the Jordan Valley and Tel Aviv.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/israel/israel-seizes-two-smuggled-egyptian-sarcophagi-covers-where-mummies-once-slept-eternally/2012/04/18/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: