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Archaeologists with the Israel Antiquities Authority have been excavating the Cave of Skulls in the Judean desert in an attempt to rescue ancient artifacts from looting. The excavations are part of a national campaign to recover as many artifacts as possible before looters steal them. About 100 such thieves are arrested each year. Of particular interest to the archaeologists are scrolls and parchments, like the Dead Sea Scrolls, which were hidden by Jewish rebels almost 2000 years ago. In a race against time, authorities are hoping to beat antiquities robbers to the discoveries before important ancient texts end up on the black market.

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