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Mar 7, 2001

U.S. citizen pleads guilty to artifacts possession

An American resident of San Ignacio has been convicted of possession of ancient Mayan artifacts. Thirty-nine year old Eugene Patterson pleaded guilty to violating the antiquities law and was fined two hundred and fifty dollars in San Ignacio Magistrate’s Court. Police searched Patterson’s home and found three polychrome bowls along with parts of a human skull and some bones. Archaeologists believe that the items were probably part of an ancient tomb recently excavated by looters from an unidentified site. Patterson allegedly told authorities that a man unknown to him brought the artifacts to his home and he agreed to keep them. He claimed to have no idea of their specific origin. Acting Archaeology Commissioner George Thompson told News 5 that he urges the public to report this kind of illegal activity and protect the nation’s valuable heritage. The three vessels are now back in the possession of the Archaeology Department.

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