Newington – Nicholas F. Bellantoni called it one of the most fascinating and rewarding challenges of his 26 years as state archaeologist.
Find the unmarked grave of Albert Afraid of Hawk, a 20-year-old Lakota Sioux Indian who died of food poisoning in 1900 in Danbury while on tour with the Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. Then, exhume any remains and return them to his descendants for reburial in South Dakota.
Bellantoni told the story of Afraid of Hawk’s life, death and rediscovery to a packed audience Wednesday afternoon at the Lucy Robbins Welles Library. Read more.
Buffalo, N.Y. (WKBW) - Goodwill Industries of Western New York receives about 50,000 pounds in donations per day…and sometimes they find something a little extra special.
"This is a vase we found in our warehouse," Dan Victori with Goodwill Industries of Western New York said.
It’s not just any old flowering pot.
"The vase could be anywhere from 1,000 to 1500 years old. A note inside the vase said it was found at the Spiro Mounds in 1970. We did research to discover that was an old Indian burial grounds," Victori said.
The vase came all the way from Oklahoma. Victori contacted the Oklahoma government, who directed him to officials with the Caddo Indian Nation. They then claimed the vase.
Victori said according to the Native American Grave Protection and Repatriation Act, it is illegal for an organization like Goodwill to sell the vase, or other items belonging to any Native American group.
"We are going to donate that vase to their museum in Oklahoma," Victori said. Read more.
NEW DELHI: Three men involved in the illegal selling of antique Indian idols were nabbed while trying to sell two idols to a client at Sainik Farms. The racket is spread across five states-West Bengal, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and the NCR.
One of the statues is of Lord Krishna in a standing position-it weighs 1.10kg and is made of Astadhatu metal, according to the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). The idol is pegged at over Rs 2.15 crore. The other statue-also of Lord Krishna weighing about 950g and made of Astadhatu metal-is worth Rs 1.75 crore in the international market.
The accused have been identified as Atiar Rehman Sheikh (27), Firoz Sheikh (32), and Abdulla Mandal (39). Police said all the three accused are from West Bengal. They would approach their clients at Sainik Farms and hotels in Gurgaon and clinch the deal.
Sharma said as far as the initial inquiry goes, the idols date back to the pre-British era and most probably have their origins in a Vishnu temple of Madhya Pradesh or Rajasthan. “We are seeking the help of experts to locate the place from where these items have been stolen,” she added. Read more.
As lakes and creeks in the oldest part of Texas become more shallow, an interesting, but problematic discovery is made. Historic Items are being unearthed and this presents a concern for archaeologists and historians.
"One of the things that happens when water rises and falls, is that archaeological sites that might be about 4 feet under the ground come up," Dr. Leslie Cecil, SFA Professor-Archaeologist.
If someone is at the lake and spots an arrow head, piece of Caddo Indian pottery or something else really old, archaeologists say they shouldn’t mess with it.
"Look at it, observe it, but leave it," says Cecil.
That’s the reminder historians and archeologists are giving as more and more state archaeological landmarks are exposed due to low water levels.
"All of those artifacts there are protected by law and there are penalties for taking artifacts off of federal lands and taking them home," says Cecil. Read more.
In dozens of camps along Lake Coeur d’Alene and the Spokane River, Coeur d’Alene Indians used stone tools to pound and grind meat, berries and roots. The handmade tools would be left in the water, where they would continue to be shaped by its flow.
Dozens of the tools were used by Indian families on the tribe’s aboriginal lands dating to ancient times, said Cliff SiJohn, the Coeur d’Alene Tribe’s cultural awareness director. Since the tribe stopped using the lands, numerous artifacts have been picked up by visitors and kept as souvenirs, he said.
Two such items recently were returned to the tribe by a Spokane Valley woman who said the artifacts had been in her husband’s family for more than 80 years. Read more.
BANDON - A milestone was reached Thursday afternoon when seven members of the Coquille Indian Tribe paddled a Chinook-style canoe into the mouth of Fahy’s Creek in the western part of the Nil-es’tun Unit of the Bandon Marsh National Wildlife Refuge.
Watching from a muddy patch of ground nearby, Jack Lenox, tribal planner and cultural committee chairman, said, “It’s been about 145 years since a Coquille Tribe canoe has been up in this marsh.”
Also on hand for the occasion was Nicole Norris, a tribal archaeologist, who added, “The tribe is a partner in this project, which is really important to the tribe as well as to the general community.” Read more.
SANTA FE, N.M. — It’s been two years since swarms of federal agents burst into nearly two dozen homes scattered throughout the archeologically rich Southwest, looking to take down what they believed was a criminal element robbing Native American grave sites and illicitly selling or trading pieces of the nation’s heritage.
Prosecutors are nearly done working their way through the list of defendants charged following those raids, having negotiated plea agreements with most that have resulted in nothing more than probation.
But for legitimate dealers and collectors of Indian artifacts, the sting in the rugged Four Corners region — where the boundaries of Utah, Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado meet — is as fresh today as when the raids happened that summer day in 2009. Read more.
Treasure, thought to be worth billions of rupees, has been unearthed from secret underground chambers in a temple in the southern Indian state of Kerala.
Precious stones, gold and silver have been found at Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple, unnamed officials say.
The riches are thought to have been languishing in the temple vaults for more than a century, interred by the Maharajahs of Travancore over time.
They have not been officially valued and inspectors are taking an inventory.
Inspectors say they will continue cataloguing the treasure for at least one more week.
Unofficial estimates say that the treasure discovered so far over four days of inspections may be valued at more than 25 billion rupees ($500m). But historians say that assessing the true value of these objects is likely to be extremely difficult.
Nevertheless security has been stepped up at the temple: “I have instructed the police chief to reinforce security further following the findings and it would be there permanently,” Oomen Chandy, the state’s chief minister said. Read more.