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Egyptian Pot Excavated by Petrie Found in a Garage

Tuesday, May 27, 2014


LONDON, ENGLAND—When he discovered a labeled black and red pot in his garage, Guy Funnell of Cornwall contacted Alice Stevenson, curator of the Petrie Museum. The pot is thought to have been one of two pots given to Joseph Grafton Milne, a curator at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, by late nineteenth-century Egyptologist Flinders Petrie. Funnell’s grandfather received the pot as payment for several unpaid taxi fares. Stevenson has been able to use the label in the pot, which identifies the object as “Libyan Pottery” from 3,000 B.C., to link it to Petrie’s meticulous excavation records. “There were obviously many such cards, but I have never seen or heard of one before—there must be more out there, which would help us trace the distribution of this material through museums and private collections,” she told The Guardian. In fact, the pot was shown to be Egyptian and 600 years older than Petrie had thought by a French scholar. “It was one of the few occasions when Petrie was not only wrong, but admitted in publicly, a very unusual occurrence,” she added.