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Old 28-02-19, 18:35   #1
 
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United States of America FBI Finds 2,000 Human Bones/42,000 Artifacts in US Mans' Home

FBI Discover 2,000 Native American Bones in Indiana Man’s Basement

Almost 2,000 human bones from Native American sites were among thousands of artifacts discovered in an Indiana man’s home.





Human bones belonging to ‘500 Native Americans’ among over 40,000 artifacts from around the world discovered by the FBI in Indiana engineer’s home

  • Indiana man Don Miller built up a vast collection of artifacts, including 2,000 bones from Native American burial sites, before he died in 2015 aged 90
  • The FBI seized some 5,000 items and returned them to their country of origin
  • Experts concluded that the remains found at Miller’s residence likely came from Native American tribes including the Arikara
  • Miller had willingly showed his collection to reporters, residents, and Boy Scout troops, which alerted the FBI to the case
The Guardian UK, 28 FEB 2019.


An FBI investigation determined that homeowner, Don Miller, may have knowingly and unknowingly collected objects in violation of several treaties and federal and state statutes.

Miller, who died in 2015 aged 90, collected artifacts from around the world particularly during his time as an engineer during World War II and also from his missionary work in Haiti.





Don Miller

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Before his death, Miller agreed to let the FBI seize some 5,000 artifacts so they could be returned to their countries of origin.

But disturbingly, about 2,000 human bones were discovered among the collection.

Tim Carpenter, who heads the FBI’s art crime unit, told CBS News: ‘To the best of our knowledge right now, those 2,000 bones represent about 500 human beings.

‘It’s very staggering,’ Carpenter said. It was previously reported that the items, stored in several buildings on the property about 35 miles southeast of Indianapolis

Asked how the bones came into Miller’s position, Carpenter replied: ‘ I don’t know. I truly don’t know.’

Over the years, Miller had willingly showed his collection to reporters, residents, and even local Boy Scout troops. This is what alerted the FBI to the case.

Experts concluded that the remains found at Miller’s residence likely came from Native American tribes including the Arikara.

Holly Cusack-McVeigh, a professor of archaeology told CBS News: ‘This comes down to a basic human right.




An estimated 42,000 items, including pre-Colombian pottery, an Italian mosaic, and items from China including jewelry from 500 BC are included in the collection




Don Miller, (pictured), collected artifacts from around the world particularly during his time as an engineer during World War II and also from his missionary work in Haiti


‘We have to think about the context of: Who has been the target of grave robbing for centuries?

‘Whose ancestors have been collected for hobby?. And this comes down to racism. They aren’t digging white graves.’

In North Dakota, tribal official Pete Coffey is working with the FBI to return to their rightful resting place.

He explained: ‘All too often here we have been treated as curiosities rather than a people here.

‘They could very well be my own great, great, great, great grandfather, or grandmother, you know, that had been – I characterize it as being ripped out of the earth, you know.’




The monetary value of the entire collection has not been determined but experts said the cultural value of these artifacts is immeasurable



Miller had willingly showed items from his collection to reporters, residents, and even local Boy Scout troops




Miller admitted that he had gone on digging expeditions in foreign countries and in the U.S. for decades which was in violation of antiquities laws





FBI photos have been released and provide a snapshot of the vast collection


Included are an estimated 42,000 items, including pre-Colombian pottery, an Italian mosaic, and items from China, some that Miller labeled ‘Chinese Jewelry’ from 500 BC.

Miller had admitted that he had gone on digging expeditions in foreign countries and in the U.S. for decades which was in violation of antiquities laws.





Tim Carpenter, (pictured) who heads the FBI’s art crime unit, told CBS News that Miller was aware he had taken protected items illegally


Carpenter added: ‘When I first went into his house and saw the size of the collection, it was unlike anything we’d ever seen.

‘Not only me, but I don’t think anybody on the art crime team. Roughly half of the collection was Native American, and the other half of the collection was from every corner of the globe,’ Carpenter added.

The FBI has already returned items from Miller’s collection to several countries, including Cambodia, Canada, Colombia, and Mexico.

A Chinese delegation will go to Indianapolis this week to claim artifacts.

They have already returned some Native American ancestral remains to tribes in the South Dakota region and are planning a large-scale repatriation of remains to other tribes in the coming months.

Carpenter said returning the remains of Native Americans to their rightful home is now a priority for the FBI.

He added: ‘You have to treat these people with dignity. These are human beings and people.

‘It matters. It has meaning to people today, it has meaning to our children and their children.’
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