"Those emeralds and sapphires must be worth a fortune."―Victoria Keith[src]
The Cretan urn was a large urn, decorated with two rows of emeralds and sapphires. It was found by Indiana Jones in the labyrinths of Crete and by 1937, it was given a glass-covered display in the Crete exhibit of the National Museum's Connecticut branch. Jones considered it one of the museum's most valuable pieces.
Later that night, Keith, actually a thief for hire, broke into the National Museum and smashed the glass case protecting the urn. She took the valuable urn and a Sumerian amulet of little value. Discovering her motives, Jones arrived in the museum and discovered the urn missing from the Crete exhibit. After escaping from a trap rigged with the Mayan calendar stone, Jones spied the urn in a sack hanging from her belt.
The next morning, Jones caught up with Keith and the urn by jumping aboard her plane from a rented biplane. Keith tried to use the urn to force Jones to choose between saving the valuable artifact or capturing her. Jones eventually decided that his ego was less important than protecting the artifact and chose to save the urn. Passing Jones the urn, Keith rolled the plane upside down, and then parachuted to safety. Jones managed to right the plane, but unable to fly it, had to abandon the plane by leaping back into James' biplane. As Jones climbed out onto the wing to jump, James commented that the archaeologist would need to drop the vase in order to stay balanced. Jones refused to let go of it, and dropped with it into the front seat of the biplane, astounding the old crop duster pilot.The urn was returned to the museum, and Jones went to England to track down the thief.
Several days later, as Jones and Keith, actually revealed to be named Amanda Knight, were attacked by animated skeletons by the sorcerer Ian Soames, Jones reflected on how he had gotten into this predicament, and reminisced on how he had lost and then saved the urn.