A Greek-Australian treasure hunter, Vangelis Dimas, is financing an excavation to locate the hoard of Ali Pasha, a murderous ruler of the Ottoman Occupation known for his atrocities. The diggings are near the village of Vassiliki, 352 kilometers (218 miles) northwest of Athens, and near Kalambaka.
Ali Pasha (1740–1822) surnamed Aslan and known as the Lion of Yannina, was an Ottoman Albanian ruler (pasha) of the western part of Rumelia, the empire’s territory which was also called Pashalik of Yanina. His court was in Ioannina.
According to the Trikala Voice, Dimas has tied up all loose ends, instituted the legal proceedings with the Municipality of Kalambaka and begun excavations again. Two years ago he said in a statement to NET that the treasure could be worth millions of euros.
This time he is convinced that he has found “Ali Pasha’s Rooms,” in the area between Agioi Theodoroi and Theopetra. The excavation is already under way and the permit given is for 25 days. The village of Vassiliki is named after the pasha’s Greek-born wife who hailed from the area and lies on his old tax caravan route to Ioannina.
Ali had three sons: Ahmet Muhtar Pasha, Veli Pasha of Morea and Salih Pasha of Vlore. Ali Pasha of Tepelena died in a battle on Feb. 5, 1822 at the age of 81 after refusing an order to surrender and be beheaded. He was shot through a door and beheaded anyway.