Inspectors carrying out a routine check at a frozen seafood store in Spain have recovered these 2,000-year-old Roman amphorae that were reportedly being used for decoration.
Members of Spain’s Civil Guard spotted the valuable antique jugs that were originally used to hold liquids ranging from oil through to wine when checking the storage rooms at the store in the city of Alicante in the eastern Spanish province of the same name.
They said they demanded to know where they had come from and were told that the owner’s son had “found them while out fishing, and bought them home as decorations”.
Also recovered was an 18th-century anchor that was being used as a decoration at the store.
In a statement from the Civil Guard obtained by Newsflash, they said: “Our officers discovered several ceramic amphorae located at various places around the premises, as well as a metal anchor. There was also a limestone plate that contained an inscription with the word ‘ESTE’ (EAST in English) which we also believed to be of considerable antiquity.
“The Civil Guard are now investigating both the owner and the son on suspicion of carrying out crimes of disturbing a site of historical and architectural interest.”
It is also not clear whether they have yet accepted the shop owners’ insistence that it was an innocent mistake, saying they are investigating whether it might also have been part of the systematic looting of old wrecks.
The nearby Santa Pola Sea Museum has confirmed the Civil Guard’s suspicions that these were ancient relics which the museum staff say date back to Roman times.
One of the amphorae, in particular, was regarded as being of particular importance as it was classified as an extremely rare type.
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