Israel Returns Ancient Artifacts to Jordan

Israel has allowed hundreds of artifacts from the early bronze age, found in the southern Jordan Valley, to go to Jordan.

Chana Ya'ar ,

Jordan Valley checkpoint
Jordan Valley checkpoint
Israel news photo: Flash 90

Hundreds of ancient artifacts lent to a U.S. archaeologist in the early 1960s have been returned to the Hashemite Kingdom.

The artifacts, which date back to the early bronze age, were discovered in the area of Bab Al Thira'a in the southern Jordan Valley.

Numerous artifacts have been found in the past century in the southern Jordan Valley, parts of Judea and especially in the area of the Dead Sea, regions that from 1948 had been occupied by Jordan but in 1967 were returned to Israel in the Six Day War.

Numbering 620 pieces, the bronze age artifacts were taken at the time to the Albright Institute in Jerusalem for examination and scientific analysis, according to Faris Al Hmoud, acting director general of the General Antiquities Department of Jordan.

Hmoud told the Jordan News Agency (Petra) that the 1967 war, in which Jordan joined its Arab neighbors in attacking Israel, and thus prevented the return of the artifacts from the archaeologist to Amman .

The return of the artifacts was raised earlier this year at a meeting of archaeologists in Atlanta, Georgia. Contacts were maintained between the Jordanian Antiquities Department, and the United States, until the artifacts were returned.