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Artifact Found at Goodwill Headed Back to Oklahoma

A prehistoric artifact from a local Native American tribe is donated to Goodwill Industries in New York. When the donation came in to Goodwill Industries in Buf...

A prehistoric artifact from a local Native American tribe is donated to Goodwill Industries in New York.

When the donation came in to Goodwill Industries in Buffalo, New York, Dan Victori admits he didn’t realize the significance of the vase.

"It was sitting on the bottom of a box, like I said; when I first found it I didn't think much of it,” said Victori. “I said, 'Wow, that's an old vase, that's pretty cool.'"

A note found inside the vase said the ancient artifact is from near the Spiro Mounds in Oklahoma. Victori says he placed it on the Shopgoodwill.com website to be sold.

"And the bids started going crazy actually, I know the newspaper said it went up to $4.99, but it was actually up to $75.00 within an hour or so," said Victori.

It was only after someone suggested he call the Native Caddo Nation in Oklahoma; Victori says he learned the true value of the rare find.

"They were ecstatic,” said Victori. “They were as excited as heck and couldn't believe that we're actually sending this item back to them."

Manager of the Spiro Mounds Archaeological Center Dennis Peterson says the area is home to 12 mounds with more than 1,100 Native American burials.

"When you're dealing with Spiro, you're dealing with the single largest amount of leadership, fancy materials, found anywhere in the United States," said Peterson.

Although Peterson says the vase doesn't look like other artifacts from the Spiro area, he says it could be a one-of-a-kind item or possibly traded from a different tribe. He says to find an artifact believed to be more than a thousand years old is always a big deal.

"Sure we're out to make money, which by the way goes back into our programs, but we're also going to do the right thing by returning that,” said Victori.

The Spiro Mounds Archaeological Center will hold an archaeology day this Saturday. Peterson says admission is free and archaeologists will be on site to assess any historic items you may bring.

According to their website, the mounds are the only prehistoric Native American Archaeological site in Oklahoma open to the public.