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North Macedonia: 4 Ukrainians arrested at archeological site

October 22, 2022 GMT

SKOPJE, North Macedonia (AP) — Four Ukrainians have been arrested on suspicion of illegal digging for artifacts at one of North Macedonia’s richest archeological sites, police said Saturday.

A police statement said the suspects were arrested Friday when officers caught them digging at the protected Isar site near the village of Marvinci, in the southern part of the country. Two metal detectors, shovels and several excavated objects were found with them, it said.

The suspects’ names were not released. The statement said all four had temporary residence permits. If tried and found guilty of unauthorized excavation, the suspects face up to ten years in jail.

Isar is about 19 kilometers (12 miles) from North Macedonia’s border with Greece.

Archeologists examined more than 200 graves there in 1977-1986. They say the findings date from the Bronze Age until late antiquity. The site contains remnants of a temple and a stadium designed in the ancient Roman style.