Joseph Lauer writes
As readers will remember, on February 2, 2011, the IAA circulated a press release announcing that “A Byzantine church and a Large Beautiful Mosaic were uncovered in an Israel Antiquities Authority Salvage Excavation at Hirbet Madras”. Many articles and postings followed, with pictures of the mosaics. I’m sorry to report that today, March 24, the IAA circulated a Hebrew press release with the disturbing news that during the night unknown vandals had destroyed a beautiful mosaic floor at the site and that a criminal investigation had been commenced. The damage was described as if the mosaic had been hit by mortar shells.
Here’s a slideshow of the discovery and the damage:
People who do such things really are messed up.
- “Byzantine church and mosaic floor uncovered in Israel” and related posts (medievalnews.blogspot.com)
- Did They Find the Tomb of Zechariah? (zwingliusredivivus.wordpress.com)
One of the excavation supervisors of the site is also the chief of the preventing antiquities robbery unit of the IAA.
I will not be surprised to learn that the damage to the mosaic was purposely made by one of his many enemies.