Snails Used to Make Biblical Blue

Discovery.com: The elusive Biblical blue, a sacred color whose exact shade has puzzled scholars for centuries, has been revealed in a nearly 2,000-year-old patch of dyed fabric. The piece of cloth was found in Israeli caves just south of Qumran, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered between 1946 and 1956. It features a blue…

Using Inscriptions from the Antiquities Market: Polarized Positions and Pragmatic Proposals

Dr Christopher Rollston writes: Archaeological sites in the Middle East have been ransacked, pillaged, and plundered for many decades. The motivations of the actual pillaging are normally economic: the pursuit of marketable artifacts. That is, the pillagers wish to find objects that can be sold to collectors. Of course, the motivations of the collectors who purchase…

Vatican Requests 1,500-Year-Old Syriac Bible Held In Turkey

The Huffington Post reports: The Vatican has allegedly issued an official request to examine a 1,500-year-old Bible that has been held in Turkey for the past 12 years, the Hurriyet Daily News reports. The Bible reportedly contains early teachings of Jesus Christ and is written in gold lettering on animal hide in Syriac, a dialect of…

Where Heaven Falls Prey to Thieves

A short documentary… … about the extensive art theft that has taken place in North Cyprus since the 1974 Turkish invasion. The theft has taken place with tacit or active approval from the Turkish army. The plunder not only served as a source of income for criminals in North Cyprus and shady antiquity dealers, it…

American Arrested Over Alleged Antiquities Smuggling in Israel

CNN reports on an American tour guide who has been arrested in Israel on suspicion of selling ancient artifacts to American tourists: Israeli authorities arrested a retired American university lecturer this week on suspicion of selling ancient artifacts illegally to U.S. tourists, they said Wednesday. The suspect, a tour guide, is accused of selling ancient coins…

Egypt’s Archaeological Sites Stand Unguarded

Concerned archaeologists called today on Egypt’s Prime Minister Essam Sharaf to return police to archaeological sites. The move is required to put an end to illegal excavations and wild looting of storehouses and tombs. “The desecration of archaeological sites and monuments is not only a huge loss for the people of Egypt on a national,…