Then the camera swoops, low and slow, over a hilltop whose surface recalls photographs of the lunar battlefields of World War I Europe. Crater after crater gouge the hill's stony surface. It looks like the aftermath of a murderous artillery barrage.
But the holes aren't the result of explosions. Each has been dug, laboriously, one spadeful at a time, by an army of looters. The casualty: a historic site called Fifa, containing more than 10,000 Bronze Age tombs stuffed with pottery, carnelian beads, and shell bracelets, a vast necropolis that some archaeologists associate with Sodom and Gomorrah, the "cities of the plain" destroyed by God in the Bible.
"They didn't seem particularly concerned," Morag Kersel, an archaeologist at DePaul University in