Spanish police reported that a French couple was allegedly caught looting ancient coins, brooches and other artifacts from an archaeological site, containing numerous ancient Greek and Roman ruins.
The couple was found by police inside a vehicle that was parked on a dirt road, leading to the Empuries archaeological site, located in northeastern Catalonia, Spain on Thursday August 20. “Given where they were, the officers searched the vehicle and the two occupants. They found tools used in archaeological excavations,” noted the official police statement.
According to AFP, the officers found two metal detectors, as well as two picks among other tools. “They also found several coins, brooches and other metal objects, covered in rust and earth, in the pair’s clothes,” the statement added.
The couple, a 47-year-old woman and a 31-year-old man are currently detained in Spain and have been charged with theft and crimes against historical heritage.
Meanwhile, police investigating the ancient site found 33 holes in the ground, where the couple probably had to dig to find the buried artifacts.
Empuries is an archaeological site located outside the town of L’Escala. Although the precise location of the town was known since the 15th century, it was only in the 20th century that systematic excavations were carried out. The first official excavations started in 1908. Empuries is the home to ancient Greek temples, as well as a Roman amphitheater and two luxurious Roman villas.