Cops have recovered a unique pre-Roman sword of great historical value that had been looted and was being sold online in southern Spain.
The piece is a falcata, a type of sword typical of pre-Roman Iberia, dated to between the 3rd and 2nd centuries BC.
The recovery of the priceless item was announced by the Spanish National Police in a press statement on Wednesday, 24th November.
According to the cops, it is rare to find such well-preserved similar pieces.
The police made one arrest and recovered another 202 archaeological pieces in the operation.
Investigators found the priceless piece via a social media post and managed to identify the person who was trying to flog it.
The person’s identity was not revealed, but the police described the suspect as a Spanish citizen living in a town in the province of Jaen in the autonomous community of Andalusia.
The suspect was arrested for a crime against historical heritage and illegal seizure.
The recovered Iberian falcata has a handle in the form of a bird and would have been buried after the death of the warrior who had wielded it so no one else could use it.
It was not reported where the piece is believed to have been looted from, whether other people may have been involved, whether the person arrested was remanded in custody, or what will happen to the sword and other pieces.
The Iberians inhabited the eastern and southern coasts of the Iberian peninsula from at least the 6th century BC. They were known for their military prowess.
They became assimilated into the Roman world following the Roman conquest of the Iberian Peninsula from 220 BC to 19 BC.