In Turkey, gendarmerie officials investigated unauthorized excavations in historic sites and discovered a 2,500-year-old sarcophagus adorned with a rare bas-relief, which was found by illegal treasure hunters.
According to the Hurriyet Daily News, a unique stone sarcophagus was discovered in the western province of Aydin. It was discovered by gendarmes, who reacted to reports of possible illegal excavations near the ancient city of Aphrodisias.
A trench was found in the olive grove, which was probably dug by the so-called treasure hunters. Noticing the stone object, the gendarmes reported the find to archaeologists.
By the way, a group of looters was detained near this place. Archaeologists examined the trench, taking precautions. As a result, two sarcophagi and a stone altar were raised from the ground.
It was preliminarily established that the age of these artifacts is about 2500 years. One of the sarcophagi was decorated with the image of Medusa the Gorgon. Such bas-reliefs have never before been found on sarcophagi found during excavations in this ancient city.
“Therefore, we think that the person buried in this sarcophagus was one of the top leadership of the time,” says Umut Tuncher, director of the provincial department for culture and tourism. “The city of Aphrodisias dates back to the Hellenistic period. And although these sarcophagi have not yet been fully identified , according to our estimates, they are at least 2500 years old. “
It is reported that the excavation site has been heavily guarded. Archaeologists believe that other sarcophagi will be found in the future. The presence of two stone coffins indicates that a necropolis that existed before the end of the Roman period may have been located here.
The danger is posed by treasure hunters who carry out their “excavations” by barbaric methods, often damaging objects that are quite valuable from the point of view of science. There is a suspicion that several groups of marauders are operating in the area, and so far only one of them has been detained.