Israel's Burning Man Torched Ancient Relics

Site of festival fire housed ancient flint tools
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 28, 2015 9:45 AM CDT
In this June 7, 2014, photo, a man looks at a wooden sculpture that was set on fire during Israel’s first Midburn Festival near the Israeli kibbutz of Sde Boker.   (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)
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(Newser) – The Israeli Antiquities Authority says revelers at a Burning Man festival famous for its pyrotechnic spectacles have accidentally torched some remnants of prehistoric man. Archaeologist Yoram Haimi says organizers of Midburn, an Israeli affiliate of the Nevada carnival, burned a wooden temple Saturday on a hilltop scattered with flint tools from the Paleolithic, Neolithic, and Chalcolithic periods.

The site was discovered 30 years ago by an Israeli archaeologist. The area is not marked with signs and it is hard to see the ancient remains. Haimi says the extent of the damage is unclear. A Midburn spokesman says antiquities officials only approached organizers in the middle of the festival. "We are sorry," he says. "One of our principles is 'leave no trace.' We are not for destroying."

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