UMM EL-JIMAL, Jordan undefined The tomb-raiders no longer even wait for night to fall before they loot the ancient crypts.
In recent weeks, grave-robbers here dug into 2,000-year-old tombs right in front of a house rented by archaeologists. Dozens of shallow pits now mark the spot. The field is littered with cracked, carved stones that once covered the dead.
“They did this in broad daylight,” said Muaffaq Hazza, project archaeologist at Umm el-Jimal, known as the Gem of the Black Desert, one of the best-studied and protected archaeological projects in Jordan. “There is no shame.”