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World

Archaeologists battle robbers in Israel

Opening sequence

Opening sequence

World

Archaeologists battle robbers in Israel

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COMING UP:Archaeologists battle robbers in Israel

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Transcript

00:00:01
>> Not a race against time, but against the looters desperate to get their hands on the precious artefacts hidden here, particularly the scrolls. A three week long excavation within the cave of skulls, painstaking work, the largest excavation in the Judean Desert in 50 years, all to recover as many ancient objects as possible, left behind by Jewish rebels who hid in the desert some 2,000 years ago, before they end up on the black market.
00:00:27
>> These looters that work here are experts, I mean experts for finding scrolls. They're coming from the West Bank, from Hebron area. They go with ropes. They go down with ropes. They're expert. That's what they do. That's what they are looking for, these scrolls and we are going of course, after them looking for what they are looking for, and looking for them, to catch them.
00:00:52
This is the game, like you said, like a cat and a mouse.>> Under Israeli law, all relics found on land or at sea belong to the state. Fatusi's allowed to arrest any robbers he finds. About 100 are caught each year, most are fined, some sent to jail.
00:01:07
Guy and his team haven't found any of the more precious scrolls yet, but even less sought after objects will reveal clues about how people lived here some 2000 years ago.