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Rare Iberian engraved lead foil among 748 looted artefacts recovered by Spanish authorities

The Spanish Civil Guard has recovered an engraved lead foil dating back to the third century BC inscribed with Iberian characters, in an operation against an organized gang specialized in antiquities looting.

Rare Iberian engraved lead foil among 748 looted artefacts recovered by Spanish authorities
Credit: ABC de Seville
The operation, referred to as Alfaibero, resulted in the arrest of six people in Jaen, La Guardia, Andujar and Mancha Real, who have been charged with the illicit possession and selling of ancient artefacts.

Experts believe that the recovered lead foil represents 'ground zero' of original autochthonous writing of the Iberian Peninsula.

However, given that there are around 2,500 archaeological sites in the province, the site where the foil originated is as yet unknown.

The authorities are confident, however, that a study to be carried out by the Andalusian Institute of Iberian Archaeology, which originally confirmed the importance of the artefact, will bear fruit.

The government delegate in Andalusia, Antonio Sanz, in his assessment of the operation has reiterated that the value of the lead foil is incalculable from an archaeological, historical and cultural point of view, while at the same time thanking the Civil Guard for the work carried out, which was conducted over several years.

Some 748 artefacts were recovered in the operation, including a large amount of coins, rings, vases and three Iberian foils, including the one that gave rise to the investigation.

Source: ABC de Seville [November 04, 2017]

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