Israel’s ‘Burning Man’ festival accused of torching ancient remains

Accused of burning a prehistoric wooden temple, Israel’s affiliate, the Midburn responded saying festival organizers were unaware, since official Antiquities Authority map showed no archaeological sites at the location.

By The Associated Press & Israel Hayom Staff


The Israeli Antiquities Authority says revelers at a Burning Man festival famous for its pyrotechnic spectacles have accidentally torched some prehistoric remnants.

A man watches a wooden sculpture set alight during Israel’s first Midburn Festival – Photo: AP

Archaeologist Yoram Haimi says organizers of Midburn, an Israeli affiliate of the Nevada carnival, burned a wooden temple Saturday on a hilltop scattered with flint tools from the Paleolithic, Neolithic and Chalcolithic periods.

The site was discovered 30 years ago by an Israeli archaeologist. The area is not marked with signs and it is hard to see the ancient remains. Haimi says the extent of the damage is unclear.

Midburn spokesman Eyal Marcus said the festival was unaware of any sensitive sites at the location, and that antiquities officials only approached organizers in the middle of the festival. He also provided an official antiquities authority map that showed no archaeological sites at the location of the festival.

“I’m sorry if there was a misunderstanding,” Marcus said. “We are going to check what happened and make sure that this doesn’t happen again.”


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