Car boot sale man snaps up Egyptian relic for £3

Egyptian maul Martin Jackson plans to sell the maul to fund trips to Cairo

Related Stories

An ambulance worker from Northumberland has paid £3 at a car boot sale for an ancient Egyptian tool valued at £4,000.

Martin Jackson found the 4,500-year wooden maul - used by craftsmen to carve temples - among a box of broken tools at the sale in Amble.

The 50-year-old, who studies ancient symbolism, haggled the price down from £6, and had the tool verified by the Natural History Museum.

He now he plans to sell his find at auction to pay for a trip to Cairo.

Mr Jackson, a medical assistant, said: "It was one of those days when all the men nursing hangovers gather around the hardware stall you get at any car boot sale and rummage through boxes of stuff you would be ashamed to even throw in the bin, like broken screwdrivers and busted hammers."

He thought the tool looked old, and then spotted an engraved silver band which explained that it was an Egyptian maul which had been found at the ancient burial ground Saqqara.

Ancient temples

The treasure had been brought to Ireland in about 1905 by a highly-decorated British officer.

Natural History Museum experts confirmed it was genuine and possibly 4,500 years old.

Mr Jackson said: "To hold something which is twice as old as Christianity, that built some of the most ancient temples in the world, feels very special.

"To feel the 'sweet spot' where the mason preferred to rest his thumb, thousands of years ago as he built vast monuments, is quite incredible."

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More England stories

RSS

Features & Analysis

  • SyedTanks instead of toys

    Lyse Doucet on the plight of children in Syria and Gaza


  • Silhouette of manSuper-shy

    Why do Germany's super-rich so often keep their heads down?


  • Gin drinkerMother's ruin

    The time was gin was full of sulphuric acid and turpentine


  • The two sisters in their bakery'Must be mad'

    Why two Spanish sisters started a bakery in a desert


Elsewhere on the BBC

  • EscaladeBling's the thing

    The ostentatious Cadillac Escalade cruises into 2015 with fuel-gulping gusto

Programmes

  • The smartphones of shoppers being tracked in a storeClick Watch

    How free wi-fi can enable businesses to track our movements and learn more about us

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.