Uproar Leads to Probe of 95-Year-Old 'Indiana Joan'

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Her collection of ancient artifacts, worth more than $750,000, includes a Roman dagger, Neolithic ax heads, a mummy mask, and a crucifix from the era of Jesus Christ—treasures unearthed in Egypt, Syria, Israel, and beyond. But her boasts about them have some red with anger rather than green with envy. 

After the West Australian explored Joan Howard's collection, which she has stored in Perth, Egypt's Heritage Taskforce demanded the Australian government investigate the 95-year-old—dubbed  "Indiana Joan"—whom it accuses of looting ancient artifacts while her husband, Keith Howard, worked in senior roles with the UN in the Middle East in the 1960s and '70s. Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade says an investigation is now underway and any illegal items found will be returned to their country of origin, reports the Australian AP.

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