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CBP Officers Return Pre-Columbian Artifact at Naco Port of Entry

Release Date: 
May 23, 2010

Naco, Ariz. - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers stopped a man from removing a valued pre-Columbian artifact from Mexico.

On May 16, CBP officers were screening traffic coming from Mexico. During an inspection of a pickup truck, the officers discovered what appeared to be a pre-Columbian artifact. The artifact was detained and was sent to the department of archeology at the University of Arizona for validation and verification.

This Pre-Columbian artifact was detained by CBP officers and later was determined to be a molcajete.

This Pre-Columbian artifact was detained by CBP officers and later was determined to be a molcajete.

On May 20, the Naco port of entry received the results form a preliminary analysis, which indicated the artifact in question was in fact a pre-Columbian molcajete, which was used by the indigenous people to grind corn. The Port of Naco is currently making arrangements to return this cultural artifact back to the Mexican government.

While anti-terrorism is the primary mission of CBP, the inspection process at the ports of entry associated with this mission results in impressive numbers of enforcement actions in all categories.

Last modified: 
February 9, 2017