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In Latgale ravaged more than 200 ancient graves

In mid-January in Latgale vandals destroyed three of the archaeological monument of national significance – burial sites in Danilovka, Login and Batni, writes Latvijas Avīze. This is the cemetery of the ancient Latgalians, Dating back to before the 14th century. All was ravaged more than 200 graves. From the point of view of number is unprecedented, and recognized representatives of the State Inspectorate for protection of monuments of culture.

Attackers using metal detectors tested ancient tombs looking for ancient bronze ornaments, iron axes and spearheads. The excavated spoils are often offered on the websites of international trade with the annotation that it was “Viking things”.

The greatest losses at the hands of vandals suffered Latgalians graves of the late iron age, located near the village of Logini in Vilaka region. The cemetery is in a remote location in the pine forest. This burial of the 11th-12th centuries, in which earlier archaeologists found bronze bracelets, ornaments, rings, pendants and chains.

On Loginsky ancient graves dug 120 graves. Human bones, set aside and covered with sand, ancient things stolen. At the cemetery in Danilovka in Vilaka region, Skibinski municipality specialists were previously found weapons and ornaments of 12th century Latgalian, which were donated to the Hermitage. Just at this point, the 79 vandals dug up the grave.They are also located in the pine forest, however, close to sawmill, so it was here that local residents noticed the intruders, which first adopted for foresters and only on 19 January reported about the events to the police. The guards quickly arrived on the scene, but vandals managed to leave.

The third crime scene – the burial in Batna, Kaunata parish, Rezekne district. A few weeks due to the poor condition of forest roads, to determine the damage on the spot. Now it is done.

“In four burial pits, and in a protected area – 22 pit. The handwriting is similar to the one that was in Login and Danylivka”, – said the head of Latgale regional Department of the State inspection for protection of cultural monuments Wilma Platere.

Excavations in ancient cemeteries, probably lasted several weeks, up until the events was not seen by outsiders – graves in the woods could find only a connoisseur of the local community. Residents Skibinski parish are outraged and suspect a certain man, who is known for being engaged in “a strange business”. People mentioned that dug, he takes to Germany.

The police in fact excavations on ancient burial places have begun criminal process and promise to carefully monitor the sites on the Internet, where so-called “black archeologists” sell their finds. In monetary terms the loss of hundreds of thousands of euros.

At the same time guilty for the desecration of cemeteries and the damage of monuments of culture under the state protection can be punished with imprisonment for up to five years.

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