Thrift store vase is actually an ancient Mayan artifact

In 2019, an old vase on the shelf of a Washington DC thrift store caught the eye of Anna Lee Dozier who paid $4 for it.

"I saw this vase, and I assumed it was like a tourist reproduction," Dozier, who works as an advocate for Mexico's Indigenous peoples, told The Independent. "It did look old, but I was thinking a 20- or 30-year-old tourist reproduction."

The vase was indeed vintage… Very vintage. It's actually a 2,000-year-old Mayan artifact.

Dozier didn't realize she had made such an incredible thrift score until she saw similar vases in Mexico's Museum of Anthropology earlier this year. She asked about her vase at the museum and the staff told her to contact the US embassy when she returned to Washington. Yep, turns out the vase is a Mayan ceremonial urn.

This week, the vase was officially returned to Mexico in a ceremony at the Cultural Institute of Mexico. It'll be sent to the Museum of Anthropology for study.

"Human rights extend to culture and history," Dozier said at the ceremony.

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