Recovered artifacts to be returned to Panama

AP News
Posted: Apr 27, 2011 7:15 AM
Recovered artifacts to be returned to Panama

Federal law enforcement officials will be returning nearly 100 artifacts to the president of Panama.

The items were recovered as part of a lengthy investigation initiated by the U.S. Customs Service, which is now part of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The artifacts range in age from roughly 500 to 2,000 years old. An ICE spokeswoman says they're worth more than $100,000.

Among the items are three-legged grinding tables known as "metates" and a variety of vessels, figurines and pedestal plates. ICE says they provide an overview of the pottery styles in pre-Columbian Panama.

Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli will receive the artifacts from ICE Director John Morton at a ceremony Wednesday.