Turkish anti-smuggling police in northwestern Balıkesir province has recovered another ancient artifact. This time a tombstone belonging to an Armenian king from the kingdom of Commagene.
The DailySabbah reports:
Anti-smuggling police seized a 2,000-year-old tombstone belonging to an ancient Armenian king in Turkey’s northwestern Balıkesir province on Tuesday.
Acting upon a tipoff, security forces tracked two cars passing through Edremit town headed toward western Çanakkale province. After searching the cars, police found and confiscated a tombstone reading “the final resting place of the Commagene Kingdom’s leader Antiacho” in Ancient Roman script. The smugglers were planning to sell the invaluable artifact for TL 2 million ($281,000), reports said.
The kingdom of Commagene was an ancient Armenian kingdom of the Hellenistic period, and the kings of Commagene were of Artaxiad Armenian ancestry, often displaying their lineage on their royal coins and statues.
The ruins of the tomb-sanctuary of the Armenian king Antiochus atop Mount Nemrut in Turkey were named to the UNESCO World Heritage list in 1987.
A few years ago Hungarian police had also confiscated Armenian antiques from a Turkish truck driver under way to Lithuania.