Thursday, July 17, 2014

News, London: The £3 car boot bargain that turned out to be an ancient Egptian TREASURE

£3 tool revealed as 4,500-year-old ancient Egyptian hammer - and it could fetch up to £4,000.

Archaeologists train for years to unearth and identify ancient artefacts, but an ambulance worker from Northumberland has happened upon one at a local car boot sale with no effort at all.  Martin Jackson, 50, paid just £3 ($5) for the 4,500-year-old ancient Egyptian wooden maul - a type of hammer - and experts have since valued it closer to £4,000 ($6,800). The maul, which would have been used by craftsmen to create carvings in temples, was among a haul of broken tools at Mr Jackon’s local sale on the quayside at Amble, Northumberland.

Mr Jackson said the maul was in ‘a shabby condition’, with electrical tape roughly wrapped around the handle, and the seller was originally offering it for sale for £6 ($10).
‘It was one of those days when all the men gather round the hardware stall you get at any car boot sale and rummage through boxes of stuff you would be ashamed to even throw in the bin, like broken screwdrivers and busted hammers,’ said 50-year-old Mr Jackson, who studies ancient symbolism.



Ambulance worker Martin Jackson (pictured) paid just £3 ($5) 
for the ancient Egyptian wooden maul - and experts
 have since valued it closer to £4,000 ($6,800). 
Jackson's maul was sent to the 
Natural History Museum in London.
After removing the tape, Jackson noticed a finely engraved silver band which explained it was an Egyptian maul, and that it had been found at the ancient burial ground Saqqara. It was brought to Ireland in around 1905 by a highly-decorated British officer who is frequently mentioned in dispatches at that time.

Saqqara is a burial site that is part of a cemetery linked to the ancient Egyptian capital Memphis. It is more than 3.7 miles (6km) long and 1 mile (1.5km) wide. Wooden mallets (pictured) were used in ancient Egypt in all types of activities, from stone and wood sculpting to boat and furniture building Wooden mallets (pictured) were used in ancient Egypt in all types of activities, from stone and wood sculpting to boat and furniture building. The area of the site nearest to Memphis contains early burials of nobles from the Early Dynastic period - around 3100 and 2613 BC and ther are a total of fifteen Royal pyramids at Saqqara.

The earliest Egyptian stone-built pyramid is called the Step Pyramid and it was built by Djoser, a king of the Third Dynasty in around 2686 BC and 2613 BC. 

Jackson’s maul was sent to the Natural History Museum in London where it was compared to one already in its Egyptian collection, and it was confirmed to be genuine. Jackson said: ‘To hold something which is twice as old as Christianity - that built some of the most ancient temples in the world - feels very special. ‘To feel the ‘sweet spot’ where the mason preferred to rest his thumb, thousands of years ago as he built vast monuments, is quite incredible. ‘I was completely stunned and delighted by its rarity.’

After confirming it is a genuine artefact, experts from Value My Stuff claimed the maul is worth between £2,000 ($3,400) and £4,000 ($6,800). The site's Egyptian expert said: ‘Wooden mallets were used in ancient Egypt in all types of activities, from stone and wood sculpting to boat and furniture building.

‘A preserved wooden item like this from the Egyptian period is extremely rare and over the course of my 25-year career I’ve only ever seen three appear on the market.’ Jackson plans to sell the item to fund more trips to Egypt where he will continue his research into ancient symbols. ‘It is serendipity that I found it and it has come along for a reason,’ Jackson added.

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