US Tourist Caught Allegedly Hunting Treasure Beneath Jerusalem

He may have been suffering from 'Jerusalem Syndrome'
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 15, 2016 4:32 PM CDT
US Tourist Caught Allegedly Hunting Treasure Beneath Jerusalem
A 19-year-old American tourist was arrested last week in Jerusalem after allegedly embarking on an unsanctioned treasure hunt.   (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

A 19-year-old American tourist—who apparently can't wait for Indiana Jones 5—was arrested after allegedly hunting for "mythical buried treasure" underneath Jerusalem last week, AFP reports. Officials say the suspect hid during closing time at Zedekiah's Cave—aka Solomon's Quarries—beneath the Muslim section of the Old City last Thursday. After everyone else was gone, he allegedly spent the night digging in various parts of the cave. At the time of his arrest Friday, the suspect's backpack contained "several worthless limestone rocks." (He was also "covered in mud," Haaretz reports.)

Several myths about Zedekiah's Cave—which is around 2,000 years old and was at one point the largest quarry in Jerusalem—claim there is treasure buried somewhere in the 20,000-square-meter area. Authorities believe the suspect may have been looking for that treasure. It's also possible he was suffering from "Jerusalem Syndrome," which occurs when tourists "are overwhelmed while visiting the Holy Land due to its religious significance," AFP explains. Per Haaretz, he was released from custody and has left Israel. (Meanwhile, archaeologists are digging in the desert to find an unusual buried treasure: a movie set.)

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