Multiple artifacts have been discovered by Tucson Sector Border Patrol agents while patrolling in remote, rugged mountain areas west of the city over the past few months.
In late February, Ajo Station agents patrolling on foot found what they believed was an ancient bowl.
The bowl was actually an olla used to store water and keep it cool in the shady alcove where the discovery was made. The clay olla displayed a weathered exterior that helped it blend in with the environment inside the alcove.
Following the discovery, agents notified Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument officials who then took charge of recovering the artifact for further study at a local National Park Service facility.
In March, Tucson Sector agents working in the same mountains located similar artifacts hidden in the entrance of a natural cave. Agents documented the discovery by taking photographs. The information was then provided to OPCNM so the artifacts could be removed and preserved.
"The foresight of these agents to not disturb either of these archeological sites, but rather document the locations and notify the proper authorities, demonstrates a fine balance between conducting law enforcement activities and preserving our nation's historical and natural resources," said Ajo Patrol Agent in Charge Jack Jeffreys.
While their primary mission is to secure the nation's borders, the agents also receive training on environmental and cultural stewardship.
Copyright 2012 CBS 5 (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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