April 2, 2014 / 8:59 PM / 5 years ago

FBI pores over thousands of artifacts from Indiana collector

(Reuters) - Dozens of federal agents, archaeologists and other experts are scouring a rural Indiana home to determine the origin of thousands of artifacts its 91-year-old homeowner has collected over eight decades, an FBI spokesman said on Wednesday.

Donald Miller has been working with the Federal Bureau of Investigation to sort out whether certain artifacts he has acquired should be returned to the countries or the Native American tribes from which they came or stay in his Waldron, Indiana, farmhouse that has doubled as a makeshift museum.

It was not clear how the FBI became aware of the collection.

“He is an amateur archaeologist who has picked up, acquired, items some of which we think are cultural artifacts and relics,” FBI spokesman Paul Bresson said. “He is looking to find out where they rightfully belong, as are we.”

The process of sorting, identifying and preserving the artifacts started on Tuesday and could continue for up to a week at the house, Bresson said.

Bresson did not describe the artifacts being examined.

Reporting by David Bailey in Minnneapolis and Susan Guyett in Maryland; Editing by Jon Herskovitz and Lisa Shumaker

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