To the Antiquities Collecting Public in Israel

The Israel Antiquities Authority is currently in the process of registering the antiquities collections that are held by the general public in Israel and regularizing the status of antiquities collectors.

During the last three months of 2009 the IAA appealed to the public, requesting whoever possesses an antiquities collection of at least fifteen items report to the IAA and register as a collector of antiquities.

The Antiquities Law of 1978 provided for the treatment of antiquities in Israel and defined the legal status of the antiquities collector as "a person who collects antiquities otherwise than for the purpose of trading therein". An antiquities collection as such is defined as "an assemblage of fifteen antiquities or more".
In the Antiquities Regulations (Collectors of Antiquities and the Transfer of Antiquities and Architectural Items) of 2009, which allowed for enforcing the law, it explains how the collector will notify the IAA about the collection in his possession and which details he is required to report.

Through a media campaign of advertisements in newspapers and on the Internet, the IAA has called on the collecting public to register by means of an online form, a form downloaded from the IAA internet site or with forms that can be obtained at the offices of the IAA throughout the country.
The IAA wishes to thank the hundreds of collectors who have informed us of the antiquities collections they possess. Those who have still not registered have until March 31, 2010 to contact the IAA via the website or by mail. The forms should be filled out online or posted by registered mail to the following address: Israel Antiquities Authority - Collectors, Rockefeller Museum, P.O.B. 586, Jerusalem 91004.

At the same time the IAA is continuing in the implementation of the second stage of the collector registration project. This time a personal letter will be mailed to every collector who registered with the IAA notifying him that his forms have been received and recorded, and he is now a recognized antiquities collector, as defined by the Antiquities Law.

The IAA will request that collectors fill out a form detailing the antiquities they own. The form requires the collector submit a detailed list of the antiquities in his possession including: a description of each artifact, the material it is made of, physical dimensions, the period when it was produced if known to the collector, the place where it was discovered if known to the collector, the date and method it was acquired by the collector and any special identifying marks on the object. Clear photographs of the artifacts will be attached to the catalogue of antiquities. If the collector believes other details should be mentioned regarding the antiquities he holds, he is invited to do so.

If needed, an archaeologist on behalf the IAA will be available to assist the antiquities collector in cataloguing and recording his collection. A meeting or visit by a representative of the IAA can be arranged by calling 02-6204688. A representative of the IAA will meet with the collector at his convenience, and can help in cataloguing the collection, provide guidelines how to register the items and answer questions dealing with the collection.

If the collector believes he has an unusual item in his possession that may contribute to furthering archaeological research or he has a unique item that should be exhibited to the public, he is invited to contact the IAA and ask for professional assistance to study the artifact or promote the public display of it.

Please note that under the Antiquities Law of 1978 and Antiquities Regulations the status of a recognized collector of antiquities bestows rights and obligations on the collector.

The archaeological sites and their artifacts are Israel's material cultural heritage and they reflect the history of the Jewish people and the story of the many human beings, nations and kingdoms that lived and existed here in recent millennia. The State of Israel and its citizens have accepted the duty and the privilege of preserving the heritage of the past for future generations. We all share in this effort.

The number of antiquities sites and antiquities is permanent and cannot be renewed, and any harm to them constitutes irreversible damage, which forever destroys a part of our country's heritage. It is forbidden to trade in antiquities or export them from the country unless a license has been issued by the Israel Antiquities Authority.

Click here for Online Registration

For further details kindly contact us at: 02-6204688.