A porcupine who dug his burrow at an Israeli site rich with ancient treasures unearthed a 1,400-year-old ceramic lamp, the Israeli antiquities authority said Wednesday.
Archaeological "police," on a routine visit to the late Roman and Byzantine site of Horbat Siv in central Israel looking for thieves, noticed a pile of dirt next to the entrance to a burrow.
There they found the lamp.
"Porcupines are excellent archaeologists who know how to dig," Ira Horovitz, an antiquities official, said on the authority's website.
"With the country having numerous archaeological sites, porcupines show up and build their shelters among underground remains. They push the soil expertly toward the surface, along with all sorts of objects."
Despite the lucky find, the authority issued a humourous warning to Israel's porcupines, telling them to "refrain from digging in archaeological sites without permission, which is a crime".