Palestinian Looted Tombs and their Archaeological Investigation
Al-Houdalieh, Salah H.
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This report describes archaeological rescue work in four looted tombs from late Roman and early Byzantine times in the surroundings of Ramallah, located in the Occupied Palestinian National Territories (OPNT). One goal of our work was to assess in detail how much of the original remains of a tomb are left behind after looting. A second aim was to explore the actual practices of looting by comparing interviews with looters with the results of an archaeological examination of looting practices of these tombs. This provides a unique comparative perspective that draws on oral history and its material correlates. Finally, this work helps to assess future possibilities for reconstructing what has been lost during looting events. The results of the research include unexpected insights, such as the repetitive character of looting single tombs, the presence of modern material remains of the looting process itself, but also the use of previously looted tombs for new purposes.