In an era of widespread looting and illicit antiquities trade, it seems rarer and rarer that good-hearted people stand up for the cultural heritage of another country.
But then again, there are people like Thelma Bishop of Gatley and Jason Wood of Studio Ceramics at Adam Partridge Auctioneers and Valuers in Macclesfield (both in north-west England).
A regular client of Partridge’s, Bishop decided to approach Wood with a special ceramic piece from her collection: a souvenir purchased from Ephesus (Turkey) in the early 1960s. Wood contacted archaeological specialists who confirmed the vessel as a genuine early Bronze Age artefact (about 2500 BC). The beak-spouted, black-slipped jug with a round base and looping handle is in remarkably good condition and is of a ceramic type commonly found in western Anatolian burials.
Instead of selling the jug at auction (cue the cheers from archaeologists everywhere!), Bishop and Wood began the process of returning the artefact to the Turkish authorities. As of January 16th, the vessel has been returned and is en route to its new home in the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations in Ankara, the country’s capital city.
Images: courtesy of Jason Wood.
Text: Nicholas Bartos