A missing 5000-year-old Egyptian artefact has been found in a cigar box in the Scottish city of Aberdeen.
The ancient artefact, a fragment of wood, was one of three items found inside the Queen’s Chamber of the Great Pyramid in Giza in 1872.
The two other items, a ball and hook, are currently housed in the British Museum in London.
The piece of wood believed to be part of the original construction of the Great Pyramid.
It was given by engineer Waynman Dixon, who found the relics, to Dr James Grant, a University of Aberdeen graduate who bequeathed it to the university after his death in 1895.
Dr Grant’s daughter donated the “five-inch piece of cedar” 51 years later, but it was never classified and was believed to be lost.
Curatorial assistant at the university Abeer Eladany, who is Egyptian, found the fragment while reviewing items housed in the university’s Asia collection, but realised it did not belong in the stock.
“Once I looked into the numbers in our Egypt records, I instantly knew what it was, and that it had effectively been hidden in plain sight in the wrong collection,” she said.
“I’m an archaeologist and have worked on digs in Egypt but I never imagined it would be here in north-east Scotland, that I’d find something so important to the heritage of my own country.”
The wood dates back to somewhere in the period 3341 to 3094 BC, 500 years earlier than historical records which date the Great Pyramid to the reign of the Pharaoh Khufu in 2580 to 2560 BC.