Verdifulle funn på avvegar

Til vanleg tenkjer eg at gjenstandar som blir funne av arkeologar, er i trygge hender. Eg veit sjølvsagt om at det finst kriminalitet også på dette området. Men nå har eg kome over ei historie som viser at verdifulle funn også kan koma på avvegar på grunn av tilfeldig lagring.

På 1970-talet blei det utført viktige arkeologiske utgravingar på Sionshøgda i Jerusalem. I åra etterpå blei gjenstandane som var funne, lagra og flytta fleire gonger. Til slutt var det ingen som visste kvar dei var!

Arkeologen Shimon Gibson har i fleire år leita etter dei forsvunne gjenstandane frå desse utgravingane. Nå har han funne “skatten” i ein kjellar i Gamlebyen:

Indeed I began searching for these artifacts in the 1990s but without luck, and I, too, gave up on the search. And then, suddenly, a miracle occurred: hundreds of crates, boxes and bags of archaeological artifacts were found locked away in padlocked cellars in the Old City.

Gjenstandane var dessverre i elendig forfatning. Nå samlar han inn pengar for å finansiera restaurering og registrering. Slik skriv han om funnet:

Study of amazing artifacts from ancient Jerusalem

Incredibly important ancient treasures from first-century Jerusalem – from the time of the ancient Jewish Temple and from the time Jesus was crucified – were dug out of the ground of Mount Zion in the 1970s and put into temporary storage. Usually this is where the scientific study of archaeological finds starts, with archaeologists writing up reports and with special objects being shown in museums. Unfortunately, owing to unpredictable circumstances, these unique finds were shifted from one location to another. Eventually their exact whereabouts came to be forgotten. Three decades went by. Everyone thought the finds were lost forever. Indeed I began searching for these artifacts in the 1990s but without luck, and I, too, gave up on the search. And then, suddenly, a miracle occurred: hundreds of crates, boxes and bags of archaeological artifacts were found locked away in padlocked cellars in the Old City. It turned out that these were the artifacts I had been hunting for over so many years…

This sounds like the lead-up of a movie but it is a true story, and the quantity and quality of artifacts is amazing. When we began unpacking some of the crates I was astonished to find a veritable treasure trove of unique and important objects, including a large bronze Christian crucifix, small potsherds with Hebrew and Greek inscriptions, some dating to Old Testament times, and well-preserved, large wall paintings from two thousand years ago (similar to those known from Pompeii) depicting columned-buildings, birds, and floral designs. Such museum-quality artifacts could help rewrite the history of Mount Zion and ancient Jerusalem, and you would think institutions would be falling over each other to help finance a project to preserve them, but they aren’t. This is why I need your help.

(les meir)

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