Treasures of Cyprus Found in Friend's Attic

Daily Post (Liverpool, England), January 5, 2006 | Go to article overview

Treasures of Cyprus Found in Friend's Attic


Byline: BY GARY SKENTELBERY Daily Post Correspondent

AN AMATEUR archaeologist has discovered an important hoard of ancient Cypriot artefacts dating back more than 2,000 years in a Cheshire loft.

James Balme, from Warrington, found the treasure, including pottery vessels bearing the earliest Christian symbols, while clearing a friend's attic.

The artefacts were brought back from the Greek island in the 1960s and stored in the attic as "holiday trinkets".

Now Mr Balme believes the hoard dates back to the Byzantine period and could be worth thousands of pounds, after returning from a two-week fact-finding mission to Cyprus.

He said: "I was astounded by the evidence I uncovered in Cyprus. I have no doubt whatsoever that the hoard discovered in Lymm is totally genuine and its archaeological value is priceless.

"Most of the artefacts can be dated accurately to the early Bronze Age period of approximately 2000BC.

"Some of the artefacts date from the early Roman occupation of the island whilst three of the ceramic vessels are clearly from the Byzantine period.

"The Byzantine period is very interesting as it was formed shortly after the collapse of the Roman Empire as we know it.

"These vessels clearly carry images of the earliest Christian symbols known to man and the fact that they are etched into the pottery is very significant indeed. …

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