But what caught my eye in this article was the assertion by Abu Ahmed, a black market antiquities dealer from Gaza, that in his view the biggest market for these artifacts is in Israel. There is huge money in "Biblical" antiquities, and so many different people profit from it. Of course many of the people who profit most from off-the-record sales of these objects live in Israel. It is disconcerting to the say the least that despite tight border controls Gaza is still a major exporter of this stuff to Israel. The Israeli Antiquities Authority and the IDF can do better.
Sunday, April 25, 2010
Modern Trade Routes and Ancient Gazan Artifacts
I was disappointed to find no word of the whereabouts of a huge hoard of early (?) Hellenistic coins found near Rafah in January in this recent article on Gazan antiquities from the Christian Science Monitor. I tried to investigate the issue earlier this year. I asked a friend at the American Numismatic Society who works in the region, and on contemporary coinage from the Arabian peninsula, but he hadn't heard anything.