Hundreds of historical artifacts from different periods, oil paintings and human heads that were cut and processed by Jivaro natives living in the depths of the Amazon, have been seized during an operation carried out in the Aegean province of İzmir.
Upon notification that historical artifacts were found at a house in the province’s Aliağa district, teams from the Customs Enforcement Smuggling and Intelligence Directorate carried out an operation on the house on Dec. 6 and seized a total of 59 pieces of historical artifacts, including five Byzantine coins, four bone hairpins, 19 books in Ottoman manuscripts, bowls, arrowheads, oil lamps and various objects.
Expanding the scope of the investigation, the teams carried out another operation, but this time in a warehouse, three days later.
During the search in the warehouse, 27 oil paintings and icons from the 18th century and 269 historical objects from various periods were seized.
Among the historical artifacts seized, human heads that were cut, processed and shrunk by the Jivaro natives living in the depths of the southern American country of Peru and the Amazon basin were found.
The practice of preparing shrunken heads had traditional significance — shrinking the head of an enemy was believed by the natives to harness the spirit of that enemy and compel him to serve the shrinker. It was also believed to prevent the soul from avenging his death.
The seized historical artifacts were handed over to the Izmir Museum Directorate.
Hurriyet Daily News