Two bronze tablets representing Roman tabulae, which contain the laws of the old town Troesmis, current Igli?a in Tulcea county, stolen from the archaeological site of the locality in 2002, have been recovered by Romanian authorities in London, where they had been put up for auction.
Prosecutor’s Office attached to Alba Iulia Court of Appeal informed the two tabulae have been repatriated following the cooperation with British judicial authorities, which had been notified, by an auction house in London.
The artifacts are written in Latin, are authentic and represent “the municipal law of a Roman city”, namely the former Troesmis. They were issued by emperor Marcus Aurelius (161-180 AD). According to historians, the objects represent the most important written document belonging to our ancient history and originating on Romanian territory.
The archaeological site of the ancient Troesmis, Turcoaia commune in Tulcea county is ranked as historical monument. The tablets have been stolen from the site and sold on the international antique market for GBP 80,000.
During 1998-2014, criminal groups of thieves acting in the archeological sites’ area stole important monetary treasures (Koson gold staters, Lysimach and Roman denars), golden spiral bracelets and various artifacts from the archaeological sites in Sarmizegetusa Regia and Piatra Rosie, ranked as UNESCO monuments.
Such valuable goods from the National Cultural Patrimony were lost, with a prejudice of over EUR 4 million. Up to now, 12 defendants have received final sentences.