Albuquerque – The University of New Mexico's Maxwell Museum has returned stolen archaeological artifacts to the Mexican government.
Maxwell Museum curator David Phillips tells the Albuquerque Journal (http://bit.ly/olFuy5) that the collection of artifacts, including arrowheads, knives, and paper-making tools, pre-date the arrival of the Spanish in Mexico.
The collection was anonymously donated to the museum earlier this year.
Museum officials found that the artifacts were stolen from Mexico in violation of a 1970 international law restricting the removal of artifacts from their home nation.
Phillips says the items "represent pieces of Mexico's prehistoric past" and that they "belong to the people of that country."
The Mexican Consulate says the artifacts were likely used for daily chores in tribal communities in what is now southern and central Mexico.
The items will be taken to Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History in Mexico City.
Information from: Albuquerque Journal, http://www.abqjournal.com
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.