Police in Spain have found a 2,000-year-old sword that was allegedly stolen from a grave and put up for sale online.
Authorities say the Iberian sword is believed to date back to between the 3rd and 2nd century BC and was offered on a “well-known social media site” along with 202 other archaeological works.
Described as an “Iberian falcata”, this type of sword was a personal weapon and tended to be buried with its owner when they died.
The blade would typically be bent or damaged when buried to prevent digging seals from using them.
However, this was found with the blade intact, something according to the police would have added significant value if it were to be sold.
“The investigation began after officers discovered that a social media user had written on a well-known website about an Iberian falcata, with a bird’s head that had been looted,” the Spanish Policía Nacional said in a statement.
“After various attempts to confirm the existence of the archaeological piece, determine its location and rediscover it, investigators were able to trace the person who offered it for sale, who turned out to be a Spanish citizen living in it ( Andalusian) province of Jaén. “
Roman mosaic from the 3rd to the 4th century excavated by British archaeologists
The sword and the other artifacts were seized by police and the man was arrested on suspicion of wrongful appropriation and a violation of historical heritage.