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Lost Egyptian Artifact Found in Michigan

Friday, June 2, 2017

Egyptian stele faienceBERLIN, GERMANY—Live Science reports that an Egyptian artifact lost during World War II has been found in the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor by Dutch Egyptologist Nico Staring. The faience-covered carving, which had been purchased from an English collection in 1910, was hidden in a sarcophagus in Berlin’s Neues Museum at the beginning of the war. The museum, however, went on to be heavily damaged by Allied bombers. According to the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation, the artifact was acquired from a private collector in 1945 by Dutch-American physicist Samuel Abraham Goudsmit, who was in charge of investigating Germany’s nuclear weapon program during the war. Goudsmit eventually donated the carving, which depicts Ptahmose, the mayor of Memphis during the reign of Ramesses II, worshipping Osiris and Isis, to the Kelsey Museum. Upon learning the history of the artifact, officials at the Kelsey Museum decided to return it to Berlin, where it will go on display at the Neues Museum, which reopened in 2009. For more on Egypt, go to “The Great Parallelogram.”

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