While patrolling the Roman-Byzantine ruins at Horbat Siv in central Israel, anti-antiquities-theft inspectors with the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) found a 1,400-year-old oil lamp that had apparently been dug up by a porcupine. The intact lamp, which was discovered at the edge of a porcupine burrow, has burn marks, indicating that the object was once used.
As porcupines create underground burrows, which can stretch as long as 50 feet, objects in the rodents’ path can make their way to the surface.
Artifacts discovered along the ground, removed from their original archaeological context, are considered surface finds. These types of finds can signal, among other things, the possible presence of an archaeological site or confirm the presence of one that has already been identified.
The little scoundrel. Fortunately it’s an Israeli porcupine or it would have been arrested, tried, convicted, and imprisoned…