Military works with Antiquity Authority to save ruins (Israel)

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As the fourth annual week devoted to the cooperation of the IDF and the Israel Antiquities Authority in preserving the country's environment and antiquities gets into full gear, archeologists and IDF officials are hailing the progress made on the issue over the past few years.

This year's program, which began on Sunday and will end on Thursday, July 2, includes a series of lectures - attended by all the commanders involved in the joint effort - with the last day to focus primarily on current archeological issues.

In the past, the IDF mainly contacted the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) only when it had run across - or over - one of the many ancient ruins scattered throughout the country. It was not until the past few years that the two were able to focus on preemptive actions aimed at avoiding damage to archeological sites, said Yoram Haimi, an archeologist from the IAA who specializes in Israel's southern regions.

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