06 Dec #Colchester: Historic artefacts recovered following police investigation
Historical artefacts stolen from Colchester twelve years ago have been returned to the town thanks to some expert digging from our Rural and Heritage Crime Officer Pc Andy Long.
A set of distinctive Roman coffins were stolen in 2004, only a few months after being discovered by the Colchester Archaeological Trust during an excavation.
At the time of their discovery at the St Marys Hospital site in Colchester, the decision was made to leave the lead coffins undisturbed rather than risk damaging them. However, it wasn’t long after the find that they disappeared from the site.
The whereabouts of the coffins remained unknown for over twelve years until last summer when they were spotted for sale at auction.
Following an investigation by Pc Long, one of the coffin lids was recovered from an auction house in Cirencester and another from a house near Melton Mowbray. The artefacts have now been transported to the archaeological trust in Colchester where they will be examined.
The coffin lids are believed to be particular to Colchester due to their resemblance to other coffins lids excavated in the area which bear a distinctive pattern.
Phillip Crummy, Director of the Colchester Archaeological Trust, said: “We are delighted to have the coffin lids back in Colchester and thankful for the work that has been carried out by Pc Long.”
PC Long said: “The recovery of these items means they can now be appreciated by the people of Colchester and studied by academics rather than being hidden behind closed doors in the hands of private collectors.
“We are hopeful that the pictures may jog someone’s memory about their disappearance. If you saw anyone acting suspiciously at the time or were offered these artefacts for sale, please let us know.”
If you have any information please call PC Long on 101.