An ancient mosaic bearing geometrical patterns and ancient letters was unearthed during an illegal excavation in northwestern Turkey's Çanakkale province Wednesday.
Acting on a tip-off about the illegal excavation, provincial gendarmerie forces launched an operation in Güreci village in Lapseki district and detained four suspects. They were later arrested by court order.
The mosaic was found in a property belonging to Fahrettin Enan, near the ancient city of Parion (or Parium) — an ancient Greek city that was located on the border of the historical lands of Troad and Mysia.
Officials from the provincial directorate of museums will now conduct a rescue excavation in the area. Archeologists have not yet pin pointed the exact origins of the ancient art, but say it will become clear with further examination.
Each year hundreds of people, who want to take advantage of Turkey's rich historical remains, are detained over illegal excavation crimes.
The ancient city of Parion was founded about 3,000 years ago as a colony by settlers from Eretria, a Greek polis from the island of Euboea and the island of Paros in the Aegean Sea. The city functioned as an important harbor for the surrounding settlements at the time.