Sarcophagus lay for years in seaside museum before owners realised it was 3,500 years old – one of the most valuable ever

The mummy in Torquay Museum had lain there for years, assumed to be between 2,400 and 2,600 years old and relatively uninteresting – until a visiting academic said, ‘That’s older than you think it is.’

Speaking to Mail Online today, museum curator Barry Chandler said, ‘Dr Aidan Dodson, from Bristol University, looked at the design and realised it must have come from the Egyptian ‘golden age – the time of Akhenaten and Tutankhamun.’

Not only that, the sarcophagus indicated it was made for a child of a high status, possibly even royal. It’s among the most valuable such finds in Britain.

Chandler says, ‘Doctor Dodson looked at certain details – the inlaid eyes, the detailed, realistic knees, and realised the coffin was much, much older than previously thought. We had known that it had been re-used – but we thought it was perhaps 100, or 200 years older than the boy.

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