Upgrade of Java Quiz: Reading Comprehension

People all over the world are preparing for the start of the year 2000. For some, it means fixing computers so that they read the year correctly. For others, it means planning for what the new century and the new millennium may bring. In the Judean foothills of Israel, it means a very busy time for the Antiquities Authority's antitheft unit as they try to prevent robbers from stealing ancient artifacts.

Why should the millennium increase the number of thefts from acheological sites? The reason is that many people are celebrating the year 2000 as 2000 years since the birth of Jesus. (Actually, the calendar we use dates Jesus' birth as the year 1, so the new millennium will not start until 2001.) Jesus, the central figure of Christianity, lived in what many Christians refer to as the Holy Land, which includes the Judean Hills. Today, there are thousands of archeological sites in these hills that date from the time when Jesus lived. As the millennium approches, artifacts from that time and place increase in value since many tourists are interested in buying these artifacts as souvenirs. Thieves dig up ancient graves and buildings looking for artifacts, destroying the sites and the record of an important time in world history.

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