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Reward offered for information on stolen artifacts

The FBI, Bureau of Indian Affairs and University of Texas (UT) police are investigating the theft of 24 near-perfect Caddoan vessels from the Texas Archeological Research Laboratory (TARL) in Austin.
The artifacts are invaluable to archeologists because of the information they provide on the ancient inhabitants of Texas and adjacent states.

UT archeologists collected many of the artifacts, used primarily in association with Caddoan Indian burials, in the late 1 930s in an effort to salvage information on Texas Native American ancestors before the sites were destroyed by looters or other destruction.

The theft took place in late July and TARL officials are now offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible. Images of the stolen artifacts are posted on the TARL web site at www.utexas.edulresearchltarl.

THC archeologists fear the pottery may be sold in underground markets, noting that Caddoan grave robbing in East Texas is an ongoing problem. THC archeologists are asking the public to stay alert and notify officials of any suspected theft.

For more information about the theft, contact TARL Director Darrell Creel at 512/471-6007. For more information about Caddoan Indian artifacts and looting in East Texas, contact THC East Texas Regional Archeologist Mark Parsons at 512-463-7004.