Greek police announced on Monday that they have arrested three men on the island of Kythnos for allegedly plundering precious historical artifacts from ancient shipwrecks off the coast.
The police said that they have discovered approximately 25 ancient amphorae (pottery vases), dating from the 4th century BC up until the late Middle Ages, in the possession of the three men on Kythnos.
These amphorae were used in enormous numbers to transfer wine, olive oil, and other trading goods across the Mediterranean in cargo ships.
The Greek seas are scattered with innumerable ancient shipwrecks, which chronologically cover the entirety of antiquity up through the Middle Ages up to the present day. Some of the historical wrecks are the sites of organized scuba dives, and people can legally and safely explore them under the guidance of authorized diving companies.
However, all of these shipwrecks are considered the property of the Greek state, and looting them is strictly punished under Greek law.