The vases – known as amphoras – are large pointed-bottom containers and were used for transporting liquids such as olive oil and wine.
A collection of Roman pots over 2,000 years old has been discovered by Spanish police in a routine inspection of an Alicante fish shop.
The pots had been found by the fishmonger’s son whilst fishing, and he said that he had brought them home to decorate the shop, he said that he was completely unaware of the age or importance of the vessels, and he just thought they would make the shop look good for customers.
The collection could be of great historical value, and one of the amorphas could be of significant importance due to its exclusivity according to the Guardia Civil.
The police have now said they are investigating the owner of the fishmonger’s shop to ascertain if there will be charges brought in the future as they may be the perpetrators of a crime against historical heritage.
Spain’s Guardia Civil said after the find, which came during a standard inspection of the storage and marketing of frozen fish products, the collection of objects was transferred to the local Santa Pola Sea Museum for safekeeping and authentication.
There, a more exhaustive survey of the pieces was carried out. This, the force said, determined “in a preliminary manner, by different experts in the field, that there were a total of 13 Roman ceramic amphoras, possibly from the first century, which were found in different states of conservation, in addition to a metallic anchor, foreseeably from the 18th century and a limestone plaque with the inscription ‘ESTE’.”
The Guardia Civil said the experts concluded the amphoras could have come from the looting of wrecks and could be protected under marine heritage laws.