Saturday 16 November 2013

Antiquities and Illegal Narcotics Seized in Spanish Raid on Metal Detectorist's Family

A 24 year old man has been arrested by the Spanish Civil Guard in an operation  in which more than 2,000 archaeological objects (Iberian and Roman objects and coins as well as prehistoric stone mills) have been seized. These allegedly came from illegal diggings of sites aided by the use of a metal detector in the Sierra de Chiva (Valencia) which the man reportedly undertook, sometimes with the help of his father. The men,  residents of Gestalgar, allegedly travelled by motorcycle by night or at weekends to about 60 sites throughout the Sierra de Chiva (beginning in 2010) and did damage to them, the repairing of which was estimated to cost 120,000 euros. The sites visited were mainly in mountainous regions of Gestalgar, Bugarra, Pedralba and Chiva.  This operation (codename Sertorius) is the biggest action of  the Civil Guard in the province of Valencia against plundering of archaeological sites since 2001.  The man and his father are accused of crimes against property and damage to archaeological sites and were arrested on Monday. In the seizures marijuana was also found in the home of the man's brother. In their statement to the agents, the defendants have indicated that their purpose was not to sell the items but wanted to collect them and donate them to the City of Gestalgar.

'Recuperan más de 2.000 piezas arqueológicas en la Sierra de Chiva',, 14.11.2013

Vignette: Some of those objects would be pretty difficult to fit on a motorbike. Crap detector too, they are not discriminating out iron.


Borgdrone said...

Obviously these guys were not in it for the money they kept worthless nails! The cops need to justify their salaries so they nail sroners and history nerds, great job when the mob is selling 25$ hookers with flyers on your cars window, stupid country Spain

Paul Barford said...

In what way is one element of the material culture of a site "worth" more in archaeological terms than another. British artefact hunters generally throw away the nails as "worthless" as you put it, these guys were trying to collect the evidence of past lives. Trouble is it's illegal in Spain. You take your choice, do something illegal and might get caught. I do not think your two wrongs argument really means much, should we (all) not be condemning and fighting any illegal or immoral act? What is stupid about that?

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