Some samples of the missing pottery.
Stolen Native American artifacts thought to be in Florida or Georgia
On a quiet night in 1974, someone slipped into the museum at Kolomoki Indian Mounds State Historic Park in Blakely, Ga., to steal more than 129 ancient pots and effigies, numerous arrowheads and other treasures. They took every exhibit on display. Several years later, many of the pieces were recovered from Miami and St. Augustine. However, more than 70 relics are still missing, and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is seeking public help in recovering the artifacts. Archeologists believe the pots are somewhere in Georgia or Florida.
Between 250 and 950 A.D., the Swift Creek and Weeden Island Indians lived in what is now southwest Georgia and southeast Alabama, building earthen mounds and thatch houses, sowing crops and hunting. Today, seven of these mounds are protected by the DNR at Kolomoki Indian Mounds State Historic Park. A museum houses the recovered pottery, as well as copper and pearl ear ornaments, shell beads and other artifacts.
“These pieces are an important part of North American history and should be properly protected for future generations to study,” said park manager Matt Bruner. “They have significant meaning to the Native American people because many were used during burial ceremonies, plus they represent some of the finest craftsmanship of the Kolomoki culture.” He emphasized that the state is more interested in recovering the pots than prosecuting the people who have them.
To aid in his search, a website has been developed that lists photos and descriptions of all the missing pieces. Bruner is asking people to go online at
to see if anything is familiar. Officials believe the pots were stolen by thieves who may have sold them to unsuspecting collectors. Anyone with leads is encouraged to call the park at 229-724-2150.
Kolomoki Mounds State Historic Park
is located six miles north of Blakely off U.S. Hwy. 27. In addition to the museum and mounds, the park offers camping fishing, picnicking, boating and swimming opportunities. The museum is open 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Tuesday-Saturday, and 2-5:30 p.m. Sunday. The park is open daily, 7 a.m.-10 p.m.
© 2014 - Georgia Department of Natural Resources