LIMA – Customs agents and National Police officers seized 156 fossils from an Argentine tourist at Peru’s Tacna station, on the border with Chile, the Culture Ministry said.
The fossils were found on Aug. 7 at the Santa Rosa international bus depot, the ministry said in a statement.
Customs agents and Culture Ministry experts identified the pieces as fossilized ammonites, urchins, bivalves and specimens that had been sculpted and polished.
Some of the fossils were “set on metal and others were in natural condition, with traces of dirt, evidence of their direct extraction from a paleontological site,” the ministry said.
The tourist told police she bought the items in the northern city of Cajamarca.
Prosecutors transferred the fossils to the National Police in Santa Rosa and the items will be handed over to the Culture Ministry for technical studies.
Officials at the Santa Rosa border crossing have seized 650 cultural heritage items, including archaeological, historical and paleontological pieces, since 2010, the ministry said.