Spanish police find hundreds of archaeological objects in two houses | Spain
Two men are being investigated after Spanish police discovered hundreds of archaeological artefacts as well as bone fragments believed to be up to 5,000 years old in two residences in the province of Alicante.
The investigation began in November after police were made aware of a house in the small village of Gata de Gorgos which allegedly contained ancient skeletal remains.
A raid confirmed the point, revealing bone fragments that a local archaeologist estimated to be between 4,000 and 5,000 years old. In the absence of any type of documentation to explain the collection, local authorities deemed it illegal.
The suspect began to collaborate with the police, directing them to another house in the nearby town of Dénia. Inside, police found 350 archaeological objects – from Bronze Age mills to parts of a Roman loom and Phoenician amphorae – along with nearly 200 bone fragments.
The find was “one of the most important illegal private collections in the province of Alicante”, police said in a statement released on Friday. Photos taken during the raid showed tables cluttered with bone fragments, a skull perched atop a row of notebooks, and a patio floor littered with intricately painted artifacts.
The resident of the house told police he inherited the items after a relative died. “However, he had no type of documentation to support possession of the exhibits and he had done nothing to regularize them,” police noted.
Items seized included more than 1,000 small tiles believed to belong to ancient Roman mosaics, several Roman ointments as well as an 18e-century iron grenade and cannonballs.
Police also found several notebooks containing handwritten notes, believed to have been made by the deceased relative, documenting the exact location where the items were found. The information could help specialists date and assign a value to the objects as well as shed light on previously unknown archaeological sites, police noted.
The two men linked to the two collections are under investigation and could face charges of misappropriation of property of artistic, historical, cultural or scientific value, according to the police. As their investigation begins, the objects are stored in the Archaeological Museum of Dénia.