The compatriots pushed their way through the debris into a Native American mound, amazed by what they saw. Inside lay unimaginable treasure. Hundreds of engraved conch shells, thousands of pearl and shell beads, copper breast plates, large human effigy pipes and piles of brightly coloured blankets and robes. Newspapers would later call the find an American “King Tut’s tomb”.
Nothing like this had ever been discovered anywhere else in North America,” said Eric SingletonSpiro Mounds had been unearthed by a group of local men who called themselves the Pocola Mining Company. The artefacts they discovered were immediately sold around the globe. Spiro’s bounty is now spread among more than 65 museums across the US, Europe and Asia, and researchers are still discovering additional galleries and people possessing its riches. Nearly a century later, the incident remains the worst looting of an archaeological site in US history.