Israel’s Capital City of Samaria Neglected and Vandalized

As reported on the Bible Places Blog:

One of the most important sites from biblical times is neglected and deteriorating today. Samaria, the third and most significant capital of the kingdom of Israel, is prey to looters and vandals, as reported in yesterday in an article by the Associated Press.

“Sebastia, the archaeological site, is abandoned without any control from 2000. It’s 13 years,” said Osama Hamdan, a Palestinian architect who has coordinated the restoration works of Crusader-era buildings with [Carla] Benelli. “A lot of destruction of cultural heritage in this area has happened.”

He said statues, vases, coins and glasses have all been taken by looters.

Weeds grow freely among the archaeological ruins, sticking out from the ancient stones. Plastic bottles and food bags are littered at the bottom of the staircase that leads to a Crusader cathedral – also site of a mosque – where the tomb of John the Baptist is said to be located in the village of Sebastia. Finely decorated stone Roman tombs in the center of the village are smashed and abandoned.

At a Byzantine church dedicated to John the Baptist, located in the Israeli-controlled part, graffiti hailing the Hamas militant group is spray-painted on a column. The Islamic expression of faith – “There is no god but God” – is written in Arabic over the entrance.

The full article is here.

Samaria Roman basilica, tb050106554

Roman basilica of Samaria
Photo from Samaria and the Center

 

Post a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s