Roman artefacts recovered from a frozen fish shop in Santa Pola

Guardia Civil, with the collaboration of the Valencian Department of Education, Culture and Sport, recovered 13 Roman vases, possibly from the 1st century, as well as a metal anchor from the 18th century, from a frozen fish shop in Santa Pola.
The investigation began after the SEPRONA agents were carrying out a routine inspection at a frozen fish storage and marketing facility in Santa Pola.
The officers observed several ceramic vases around the shop, a metallic anchor and a limestone plate with an inscription ‘ESTE’ (meaning East), pieces that, at first glance, could be of considerable historical value.
Guardia Civil are now investigating the owner of the establishment and his son as alleged perpetrators of a crime against historical heritage (the acquisition and/or possession of objects knowing their doubtful or illegal origin). The son found the objects in the sea while fishing and took them to his father’s store, where they were used to decorate the shop.
Experts believe that the items could be from the 1st century, of great heritage value and one in particular could of significant importance, due to its rarity.
After an initial evaluation, the objects were transferred to the Santa Pola Sea Museum, for authentication. There, a more comprehensive survey of the pieces was carried out by experts.
The amphoras, two handled vases or jugs, would probably be olive jugs, which were used to transport oil from Spain to Rome. Others were also used to transport wine.