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Auctioneer discovers Egyptian coffin lid in wall

A mysterious discovery has been made inside the wall of a seaside house - the lid of an Egyptian coffin thought to date back 3,000 years.

Auctioneer discovers Egyptian coffin lid in wall
The lid was discovered standing upright inside the cavity of an outside wall, complete 
with painted face and faded hieroglyphics. How it came to be inside 
the house remains a mystery [Credit: SWNS.com]
Auctioneer Stephen Drake was assessing the contents of a property after the death of its owner when he found the cobweb-covered relic. It was standing upright in the cavity of an outside wall, complete with painted face and faded hieroglyphics.

Mr Drake consulted historians at Cambridge University who said the six-foot-long sarcophagus cover appeared to date from 700BC. But how it came to reside inside the modest address which was being renovated in Bradwell-on-Sea, Essex remains a mystery.

Mr Drake, 55, said: 'It really was quite bizarre. I'd been asked to look at the house by relatives of the previous owner, who'd died. When I got there the renovation work was fully under way, and a large hole had been smashed in one of the outside walls. When I stuck my head through and looked inside, I was surprised to see the coffin lid leaning up against a wall in the corner, covered in dust and cobwebs. There was a painted face on it and some hieroglyphics. It was just like a scene from an Indiana Jones movie.'

Auctioneer discovers Egyptian coffin lid in wall
The lid is due to go to auction on September 13 with a current estimate 
of £1,000 to £2,000 [Credit: SWNS.com]
Mr Drake said the new owners of the house had no idea what the coffin lid was, but imagined it had been part of a collection of ancient items. He added: 'I believe the previous owner may have collected old artefacts. There were other very old items in the house.'

If the coffin lid is indeed from 700 BC, that places it within the 25th dynasty in Egypt, when Pharoah Shebitku was on the throne. Shebitku, also known as Shabatka, was the third king of the 25th dynasty and ruled from 707 BC to 690 BC. He was the nephew and successor of Shabaka. and a son of Piye, the founder of this dynasty. Shebitku's throne name was Djedkare, meaning 'Enduring is the Soul'.

There is no sign of the mummy or the rest of the coffin and no information about how it came to reside in England.

The lid is due to go under the hammer on September 13 with a current estimate of £1,000 to £2,000.

Author: Rachel Reilly | Source: Mail Online [August 27, 2014]
TANN

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