Feds on mummy linens seized at Blue Water Bridge: 'Nothing shocks us anymore'

Charles E. Ramirez
The Detroit News
U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents seized ancient Egyptian mummy linens last month at the Blue Water Bridge.

Port Huron — Ancient Egyptian mummy linens were seized last month at the Blue Water Bridge by federal agents, officials said Wednesday.   

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers on May 25 selected a shipment on a Canadian mail truck for examination when they found five jars of ancient Egyptian mummy linen in a package.

"It's not a very common thing," said Kris Grogan, a Customs and Border Protection spokesman. "But nothing that people try to smuggle in shocks us anymore."

He said the shipment was heading from Canada coming into the U.S. 

Officers coordinated with a Washington, D.C.-based archaeological organization to determine the admissibility of the items. The linen may be from the Ptolemaic Dynasty 305-30 B.C., officials said.

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

Grogan said because the investigation is ongoing, Customs and Border Protection are not releasing the importer's identity at this time. No arrests have been made, but U.S. officials are looking into it along with their Canadian counterparts, he said.

Federal agenciesincluding the Department of State, will be focusing on repatriation of these artifacts, officials said.


Twitter: @CharlesERamirez