US agents in Memphis seize shipped ancient Egyptian artifact

MEMPHIS, Tennessee — Federal agents in Memphis have seized a possible 3,000-year-old Egyptian artifact shipped from Europe.

US Customs and Border Protection say they intercepted the lid of the Egyptian canopic jar belonging to the burial god named Imsety on Aug. 17. The jars were used to hold the internal organs of mummies.

The agency says the item was shipped from a dealer to a private buyer in the US and the shipper has made conflicting statements about its value.

Experts from the University of Memphis Institute of Egyptian Art and Archeology helped determine the artifact’s authenticity. The desk says the lid is probably from 1069 BC to 653 BC

Authorities say the item is protected by bilateral treaties and is an archaeological import subject to seizure under the Convention on Cultural Property Implementation Act of 1983. The artifact was turned over to Homeland Security Investigations for further investigation.

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