Ancient treasure seized in Drama

An important hoard of over 2,500 illegally excavated ancient coins has been confiscated following a raid on the house of a northern Greek telecom employee, police said yesterday. Together with the 2,646 gold, silver and bronze coins, which included six silver pieces struck by Alexander the Great, officers discovered a marble stela dedicated to the Phrygian god Attis, 100 lead weights, 49 rings as well as sealstones, brooches, bracelets and other smaller ancient artifacts in the Drama house of the OTE worker – who was only identified as M. Stamboulis, 49. Archaeologists were impressed by the illegal collection. «There are very many rare artifacts of great archaeological value,» Drama Museum’s director, Ekaterini Preisteri, said, adding that the Attis relief probably came from the ancient town of Amphipolis. «We have found a sanctuary of the god there,» she said. Seven metal detectors were also found in Stamboulis’s house, which he apparently used to locate his finds.