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Border Patrol Agents Find Rare Artifacts

Release Date: 
May 8, 2012

Tucson, Ariz. - Tucson Sector Border Patrol agents discovered multiple artifacts during the last few months while patrolling in remote, rugged mountain areas west of the city.


Rare artifacts located within National Monument in southwestern Arizona.

Several ancient bowls discovered beneath a rock ledge in April. Photo courtesy of Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument.

In late February, Ajo Station agents patrolling on foot found what they believed was an ancient bowl. The "bowl" was actually an olla used to store water and keep it cool in the shady alcove where the discovery was made. The clay olla displayed a weathered exterior that helped it blend in with the environment inside the alcove.


Following the discovery, agents notified Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument officials who then took charge of recovering the artifact for further study at a local National Park Service facility.


Border Patrol Agents seize artifacts near Lukeville, Ariz.

Ancient ollo discovered by Border Patrol Agents in February. Photo courtesy of Customs and Border Protection.

In March, Tucson Sector agents working in the same mountains located similar artifacts hidden in the entrance of a natural cave. Agents documented the discovery by taking photographs. The information was then provided to OPCNM for removal and preservation of the artifacts.


"The foresight of these agents to not disturb either of these archeological sites, but rather document the locations and notify the proper authorities, demonstrates a fine balance between conducting law enforcement activities and preserving our nation's historical and natural resources," said Ajo Patrol Agent in Charge Jack Jeffreys.

Border Patrol agents remain vigilant on and off duty. While their primary mission is to secure the nation's borders, they also receive training on environmental and cultural stewardship.

Customs and Border Protection welcomes assistance from the community. Citizens can report suspicious activity to the Border Patrol and remain anonymous by calling (877) 872-7435 toll free.

All CBP assets in Arizona were realigned under a unified command structure in February 2011. Joint Field Command - Arizona unifies the Tucson and Yuma Border Patrol Sectors and Air Branches, as well as the Tucson Field Office, to enhance border security, commercial enforcement and trade facilitation missions to meet Arizona's unique challenges. Follow us on Twitter @CBPArizona.

Last modified: 
February 9, 2017