Car boot sale man snaps up Egyptian relic for £3

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

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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."

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