Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Metal Detectorist Arrested in Greece

The seized artefacts (Greek Reporter)
Antiquity looting and smuggling are a pervasive problem in Greece, the Greek police make dozens of arrests per year in connection with the trade. Greek police announced the arrest on Monday of a 72-year-old Greek man accused of violation of cultural heritage law, possession of illegal weapons, as well as embezzlement. The 72-year-old man had reportedly been involved in similar activity in the past.
Investigation of the man’s home in a village near the city of Alexandria in northern Greece revealed 1,061 ancient copper coins. Most date from the Hellenistic period – the third to first centuries BC – the Byzantine period – 330 AD to 1453 AD – and the Ottoman period – the 15th to the 19th centuries AD. Police said that the coins were seized on Sunday, along with 30 silver coins dating to the same periods, 16 copper rings, as well as precious jewels of the Byzantine and post-Byzantine eras. Police also found an assault rifle, seven pistols of various calibers, six handguns, two hunting rifles, 15 metal detectors [...] . 
The photo accompanying the article shows a heap of uncleaned coins which were either in his own personal collection or were destined for the market, and artefacts among which is something which looks like aqn radiate headed fibula. One of the objects however, while it may be 'Byzantine', I suppose looks awfully like the sort of things that come out of the SE Baltic/ NW Russian regions. Is this collection a mixture of locally found and imported artefacts? Only closer analysis can tell.

Nikoleta Kalmouki, 'Greek Man Arrested for Illegal Possession of Ancient Coins' Greek reporter Sep 30, 2014.

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