Thursday 20 February 2020

Costa Almeria Metal Detectorists Caught Looting Roman Site

Almeria, Gérgal
Cathy Elelman, 'Costa Almeria metal detector enthusiasts caught digging up finds from Roman archaeological site in Gérgal' Euroweeklynews 20 February 2020
Police caught three artefact hunters digging up artefacts from an Iberian-Roman archaeological site in Gérgal. A patrol from the Environment and Heritage Protection Group of the Police Unit Assigned to the Andalucia Autonomous Community in Almeria surprised the trio prospecting for finds with the metal detectors and using other tools to excavate without any kind of authorisation. Officers found the three had gathered some 70 pieces, including coins, brooches, and other items of archaeological interest. Police also seized the detectors, radio equipment, torches, materials to clean the pieces which were dug up and other materials related to the illegal activities. The three have been charged with breaking an article of the Andalucia Historic Heritage Law, which only allows the controlled use of metal detectors without impacting on historic heritage.
Earlier this year police seized nearly 500 items considered of archaeological interest and with no documentation to show their legal origin that a Roquetas de Mar metal detector enthusiast had found. Fines for breaking the Andalucia Historic Heritage Law can be as much as €200,000. And still they do it - presumably assuming that if they do it when nobody is looking (torches at night for example), they will not get caught.
hat tip, John Ma,  @rogueclassicist

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