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11 ancient burial boxes recovered in Israel

By The Associated Press

This article was published March 31, 2014 at 6:51 a.m.

JERUSALEM — The Israeli Antiquities Authority unveiled 11 ancient burial boxes Monday that were recovered by the Israeli Police early Friday morning.

Officials say the boxes are 2,000 years old. Some are engraved with designs and even names, giving clues to their origin and contents. The boxes contain bone fragments and remnants of what experts say is pottery buried with the deceased.

The authority says the boxes were recovered last Friday in Jerusalem when police observed a suspicious nighttime transaction involving two cars, four people and the 11 boxes. Once police realized the boxes were of archaeological significance, they alerted the Antiquities Authority. It is not yet clear how the suspects got hold of the boxes.

Two of the suspects are still being held and the others are under house arrest, according to the authority.

These boxes, or ossuaries, are believed to originate from the Second Temple Period. Experts say they are from within a 1.3 mile radius of Jerusalem.

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