Ancient Vase Discovered In New York Returned To Oklahoma's Caddo Nation

Monday, May 7th 2012, 5:11 pm
By: News On 6

A priceless artifact is coming back to Oklahoma after being discovered in Buffalo, New York.

It's an ancient burial vase that came from the Spiro Mounds.

The civilization that built the Spiro Mounds began inhabiting land in LeFlore County around 800 AD.

They occupied the site until 1450.

Twelve mounds cover 150 acres.

They were used for religious, political or community activities.

Hundreds of artifacts have been recovered from the mounds. Each one is of cultural significance to the mound builder's descendants, which now includes the Caddo Nation of western Oklahoma.

So imagine the surprise when this burial vase was discovered in a box at a Goodwill store in Buffalo.

"It was sitting on the bottom of the box, like I said, when I first found it I didn't think much of it. I said, 'Wow, that's an old vase, that's pretty cool," Dan Victori, of Goodwill Industries Buffalo, said.

Victori didn't know what he found, so he decided to sell it on the Goodwill website to raise money for the organization.

"And the bids started going crazy actually, I know the newspaper said it went up to $4.99, but it was actually up to $75.00 within an hour or so," Victori said.

Someone saw the listing online and told Victori the vase may be up to a thousand years old.

Sure enough, it's from the Spiro Mounds and Victori says he's thrilled to help return the vase to its rightful place with the Caddo Nation.

"They were ecstatic," Victori said. "They were as excited as heck and couldn't believe that we're actually sending this item back to them."

Victori's not asking for anything in return, he says just giving it back is the right thing to do.

Spiro Mounds is the state's only prehistoric Native American site open to the public.