January 29, 2023

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Alicante, Spain: Police have seized hundreds of artifacts and more than 200 human bone fragments

written by Maya Ellinger, CNNOscar Holland, CNN

Spanish police have recovered hundreds of archaeological Artifacts, including marine fossils, Bronze Age ceramics, and 18th-century weapons, from two houses in the southeastern province of Alicante.

Spain’s Civil Guard said in a statement on Friday that more than 200 pieces of human bones had been seized, some between 4,000 and 5,000 years old.

The discovery comes after a weeks-long investigation, known as Operation Osarium, led police to what they called “one of the largest illegal private collections” in Alicante. The statement added that two men are currently under investigation for misappropriation of goods of artistic, historical, cultural or scientific value.

Roman mosaic tiles, Paleolithic flint tools, and historic weapons, including cannonballs and grenades, were among the 350 artifacts found.

Artifacts have been found including marine fossils, Bronze Age ceramics, and weapons from the 18th century. credit: Civil Guard

After the initial discovery in a house in the village of Gata de Gorgos, the homeowner cooperated with the police and led them to a larger group on a property in the nearby city of Dénia.

The statement added that the resident of the second house claimed that the artifacts discovered there were inherited from a deceased relative, although the police did not find any documents that “justify his possession” of the artifacts. However, investigators found notebooks containing handwritten notes from the late lineage identifying the provenance of the items.

The finds were made from two houses in the province of Alicante.

The finds were made from two houses in the province of Alicante. credit: Civil Guard

More than 200 pieces of human bones were also found.

More than 200 pieces of human bones were also found. credit: Civil Guard

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Spain’s Civil Guard said it was seeking cooperation with officials from the Department of Culture to search and catalog the items.

The police statement added, “The study conducted by the specialists can help determine the origin and context of the pieces, thus increasing their value, and even facilitate the identification of new archaeological sites.”

This discovery comes a year after 36 stolen artifacts, recovered by the Spanish Civil Guard, were returned to Egypt. The pieces, which included statues of gods and ancient urns, were seized in the Spanish port of Valencia after they were smuggled from archaeological sites in 2014, According to Reuters.