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The clay pots were discovered by U.S. Border Patrol agents at Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument earlier this year. Agents had been looking for signs of illegal immigrants hiding in the mountains.

Archaeologists studying the pots say they were likely used to store food and water. They don't yet know how old the vessels are, or who made them. Sue Walter, Chief of Interpretation for the monument, says agents found them completely intact, just sitting on top of sandy soil. They could have been there for hundreds of years.

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Photo: National Park Service

Organ Pipe cacti are native to Mexico, but are also found in part of Arizona, in the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument.

Archaeologists in Tucson are studying the reddish-brown pots, which were likely were used to store food and water. They were discovered by Border Patrol agents at the monument earlier this year. The agents had been looking for signs of illegal immigrants hiding in the mountains.

The pots were found in an area once inhabited by the Hohokam and Tohono O'odham. Both the Border Patrol and officials with the National Park Service are keeping quiet about exactly where they were found, for fear of attracting illegal pot hunters.

Eventually, the pots could go on display at a museum

More resources:
National Park information on Organ Pipe Cactus