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3 Artifacts Recovered Moundville Artifacts

By Anna Beahm | [email protected]@al.com
After 38 years of investigating and searching, three of the more than 264 artifacts stolen from the Erskine Ramsey Archaeological Repository during a burglary in 1980 have been recovered.
Archaeologists believe the three recovered vessels were used for religious rituals or observances.
“Most of us had lost hope we would see any of them,” said Dr. Jim Knight, professor emeritus of anthropology at the University of Alabama. “When I got the call several weeks ago, my heart started pounding. I’ve had a long career as an archaeologist—this is a highlight.”
He said 264 pottery vessels and other artifacts were stolen from the Erskine Ramsay Archaeological Repository in Moundville. Some of the stolen artifacts were some of the highest-quality items recovered from the area, said officials with the University of Alabama Office of Archaelogical Research. Many of the vessels were used for religious rituals, Knight said.
Knight said he believes this is one of the largest antiquity heists in the country. An appraisal of the stolen items conducted in 1980 revealed they are worth around $1 million. Officials now say the artifacts are worth around $3 million.
The recovered artifacts were revealed today at an event at the at Moundville Archaeological Park Museum. Plans for how the recovered artifacts will be exhibited have not been publicly announced.

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