Plundered 2nd century jar found

HUNTING SCENE: Treasure in a cardboard box

POLICE entered a Campello antique shop looking for ivory and left with Iberian treasure.

Carrying out a routine check on banned ivory trading, officers from the Guardia Civil’s Seprona nature protection unit found a 2nd Century pottery jar worth an estimated €20,000.

The jar, a ceremonial wine vessel, was being restored and the Seprona officers found it in a back room inside a cardboard box.

It is decorated with scenes of a boar hunt and is an exceptional example of Iberian art, said Jose Luis Simon Garcia, an archaeologist from the regional government’s Culture department.

Already considered unique for the quality of its decoration, the jar bears burn marks.  These could be the result of accidental fire or through being used during funeral rites, he said.

It was probably stolen from a looted grave now destroyed by plunderers.  “Without an archaeological context, we have little chance of learning more about the jar or the site where it was found,” Simon Garcia lamented.

The owner of the Campello shop has been charged with receiving and failing to certify the jar’s provenance.

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