Skull for sale discovered to be part of Indian history
By SUE LINDSEY
Associated Press Writer
December 11, 2005
ROANOKE, Va. -- Steven Mendola thought he would help out the medical profession when he put a human skull up for sale on eBay as a teaching tool. Instead, he's done a service to Virginia's Monacan Indians by returning one of their own.
Sorting through a closet after he took over the Staten Island, N.Y., office of a chiropractor who had died, Mendola found the old skull.
The chiropractor checked with New York authorities to make sure he wouldn't be selling someone's long-lost relative. The skull had a sticker on it labeled "Suponi," which he assumed was an Italian name. No one with that name was missing, he was told.
Mendola hadn't put the sticker name on the eBay listing, but when he gave it to Dan Reany, then with WSLS-TV, the reporter discovered it was more likely "Saponi."
That's a Siouan tribe related to the Monacans in Virginia. The sale was off--it's a federal crime to sell American Indian remains.
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