Vandals set fire in March to a building in the Beth-Shean national park that housed archaeological finds from the site. The building, which itself dates to the eighth century A.D., was used to store objects from the Roman-era city and from earlier cities on the impressive mound beyond the Roman remains. Although the most important pieces had all been removed to Jerusalem for storage or display, the loss is still considerable.
Gaby Mazor, who currently heads excavations at the site for the Israel Antiquities Authority, told the Jerusalem Post that the “thousands upon thousands” of finds stored at the site—pottery, marble, glassware and various metal and bone items—formed the basis of his work and that of several others since the excavations began in 1986. “This is my life’s work,” he said, “so you can imagine how I feel.”