‘Cursed’ Antiquity Thief Returns Roman ‘Catapult Balls’ With Letter

‘They brought me nothing but aggravation,’ admits anonymous culprit in a letter he attached to the 2,000 yr-old Roman projectiles stolen 20 years earlier.

By Itay Blumental


Museum robberies are rare, but rarer still is the thief who anonymously returns his prize. 

Photo: Dr. Dalia ManorPhoto: Dr. Dalia Manor

That’s exactly what happened Monday morning when two ancient projectile stones that were stolen from the Gamla Nature Reserve 20 years ago were found at the Museum of Islamic and Near Eastern Cultures in Be’er Sheva with a note from the culprit.

“These are the two Roman catapult balls from Gamla… I stole them in 1995,” wrote the thief. “Since then they’ve brought me nothing but trouble.” 

The moral of the story? “Please do not steal antiquities!” concluded the anonymous writer. 

Dr. Dalia Manor
Dr. Dalia Manor

Gamla is located in the Israeli side of the Golan Heights and the Roman projectiles have no historic connection to Islamic or Near Eastern Cultures. 

The 2,000-year-old rocks were found by museum employee Amos Cohen with the note and a map of the nature reserve marked with the exact location of the theft.

The ancient city of Gamla was destroyed during a revolt at the end of the Second Temple period. The Romans launched stone projectiles over the walls at attacking forces and archeologists have found some 2,000 similar stones at the site.


View original Ynet publication at:  http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4679268,00.html