Ancient Egyptian mummy artifacts seized at bridge

Mummy linens seized at Blue Water Bridge. Photo courtesy of U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Five jars of ancient Egyptian mummy linens were seized last month at the Blue Water Bridge.

In a news release issued Tuesday, U.S Customs and Border Protection (CBP) said on May 25 a Canadian mail truck heading into Michigan was selected for enforcement examination at the Centralized Examination Station in Marysville Michigan.

A package was inspected and found to contain artifacts believed to be from the Ptolemaic Dynasty dating back to 305-30 BC.

“This seizure of historical importance highlights the wide variety of federal laws that CBP is responsible for enforcing,” said Port Director Michael Fox. “I am extremely proud of our officers’ hard work during and after the discovery of these ancient artifacts.”

The border agency worked with a Washington-based archaeological organization to determine if the material was admissible to the U.S.

CBP said the importer was unable to prove that the artifacts were removed from Egypt prior to April 2016, which is in violation of the Convention on Cultural Property Implementation Act.

U.S. federal agencies, including the Department of State, will be focusing on repatriating the artifacts in the near future.