Amphorae found in a well at Aucanada in 1998 are now being restored by the Council of Majorca. The discovery was reported by pot holers and were excavated rapidly because there was a danger of them being destroyed because of work going on in the neighbourhood. Miquel Barceló, head of the Council of Majorca's historical heritage department, and Miquel Angel Grimalt, who is in charge of planning, said that permission for the excavation had been given to Council archaeologists Biel Pons and Jaume Cardell, but the services of a professional spelaeologist and diver were retained because of the difficulty involved in reaching the amphorae. The explanations were given after the heritage board decided to open an investigation into the excavations at Aucanada, after ARCA, the association which defends the heritage, asked for information about it. It had been brought to their attention by an article in the magazine Endins, which specialises in spelaeology. It was written and illustrated by the spelaeologists who took part in the excavations. Barceló and Grimalt said that everything had been above board, with all the correct permits. The heritage board is particularly sensitive on the subject because of the recent scandal involving a Swiss amateur archaeologist who is alleged to have taken objects found at Santueri Castle in Felanitx out of the country. Rupert Spillmann used a metal detector and claimed that he had a permit, although the Council of Majorca said it did not allow him to keep his finds, much less take them off the island. The matter is now being investigated and Grimalt said it was a complex affair, although he admitted that there had been a lack of co-ordination between the various departments.


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