In Drama, Greece a 62-year-old man found himself in police custody for his unlawful possession of ancient artifacts. The apprehension followed a police operation conducted by the Department of Cultural Heritage and Antiquities of the Thessaloniki Security Directorate, overseen by a judicial officer.
Among the remarkable discoveries made in the man’s garden, an archaeologist from the Antiquities Authority of Drama identified items falling under the protective provisions of the Law on Antiquities. These historical treasures included fragments of a Roman-era sarcophagus cover, twelve sections of inscribed Muslim sepulchral stele, and a shield adorned with decorative features reminiscent of the late Byzantine period (13th-14th century).
Further examination revealed the need for additional investigation into objects found nearby, including parts of jars, an epitaph from a Muslim tombstone, fragments of vases, twelve inlaid fragments of inscribed Muslim sepulchral stele, and a bronze accessory.
The arrested 62-year-old man now faces legal proceedings.
Ancient Greek Coin From an Attic in the UK
In February 2023, a similar case was reported in the UK. A 25-year-old man stumbled upon an ancient Greek coin in his garden and a Ming-style Chinese vase in his mother’s attic. The coin, believed to date back to the era of Alexander the Great, was found by the young man while tending to his garden. Known as a tetradrachm, it features depictions of Alexander the Great in the guise of Heracles and Zeus, the king of the ancient Greek gods.
Intriguingly, the same attic yielded another treasure—an old bronze vase with a striking resemblance to Chinese Ming-style art. This vase, originally purchased by the man’s late father from an antique dealer, was sold at an impressive amount of £1,450 at auction, more than double its estimated value.
As for the ancient Greek coin, tetradrachms from this period are highly sought after by collectors, and well-preserved or rare examples can be valued at substantially high sums. In its heyday, this ancient coin was of considerable value, equivalent to four times a man’s daily wage, allowing its possessor to acquire luxuries such as jewelry, horses, or weapons.
Archeological Treasure in Athens
One of the last significant archaeological finds occurred in June of this year in the forested expanses of the Parnitha National Park, located north of Athens. A treasure trove of archaeological artifacts included lamps, pottery, and bronze figurines, although the exact historical period remains unclear.
Parnitha, which is renowned for its natural beauty and historically marks the border between ancient Athens and Boeotia, may find its history further illuminated by these discoveries. The antiquities have been handed over to the Ephorate of Antiquities of Western Attica for further study, with some already falling under the Antiquities Protection Law and others awaiting more thorough study.