Archaeologists from the Ruse Historical Museum have established treasure-hunters raids during their field studies of the Roman fortress Trimammium. The police were also notified of the encroachments. Students from Great Britain also participated in the research near the village of Mechka (Bear), who came across curious discoveries from the Middle Ages.
Excavations near the village of Mechka began in 2006. The raids in the area also date from at least that time.
"The leveling and cleaning of the terrain under the power lines provided ideal terrain for the treasure hunters. Aligned, cleared of bushes and thus destroyed several graves. They worked absolutely calmly, undisturbed by anyone, they used carts... just like archaeologists, almost," said Dr. Nikola Iliev, an archaeologist at the Ruse Regional History Museum.
However, archaeologists have rescued valuable coins, ornaments and remains of people who lived in Trimammium during several eras. Parts of shields, bows and arrows from the arsenal for guarding the fortress, built at the end of the second century to guard the borders of the Roman Empire along the Danube, were also found in the area.
"We have findings of gold, silver, glass... They are certainly well sought after by treasure hunters," said Dr. Nikola Iliev.
British students have also joined the rescue excavations, using their fieldwork to enrich their knowledge of the area's history.
"Everything is the way it is now because of what happened all these hundreds of thousands of years before. So it's a shame what these treasure hunters are doing. It's clear that people need money, but they don't realize the damage they're doing... They're not only stealing valuable artifacts, they're also destroying important history for the people and the entire region," said Lucas Irving.
“What the treasure hunters are doing is terrible... They are making money by stealing from archaeology. Don't they realize that in this way they are taking away from the knowledge of both current and future generations," said Christy Keane.
After a report from the museum in Ruse, the police investigated the raids on the archaeological site.