The Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) on Tuesday announced the arrest of four men from Rahat on suspicion of attempting to rob an archeological site near Beit Shemesh on Saturday.
The men were caught digging a large hole uncovering a network of underground passages in their search for buried treasure they believed to be hidden in the spot.
The men were arrested on the spot and taken by Border Police to the Jerusalem central police station for interrogation.
When brought before a judge the suspects denied the charges and were released on NIS 50,000 bail.
The IAA spokeswoman said that an indictment charging the men with damaging an archeological site and unlawful digging in an archeological site, offenses that carry five- and three-year jail sentences respectively, would be issued in the upcoming days.