Derby

Ancient Egyptian tool found in Derbyshire wardrobe

Auctioneer with 4,500-year wooden maul Image copyright Hansons
Image caption Charles Hanson said the wooden maul (right) would have been used at the time of the pyramids being constructed

An Ancient Egyptian tool has been found in a wardrobe.

The 4,500-year-old wooden maul, or mallet, used by Egyptian craftsmen, had been stored in the wardrobe in Derbyshire to protect it from sunlight.

It was originally discovered during World War Two in a cave near Cairo by a relative of the owner.

Auctioneer Charles Hanson said "the tool would almost certainly have helped with the building of important ancient temples of the day".

The item, which goes to auction in October, has a pre-sale estimate of £2,000-£3,000.

Mr Hanson, manager of Hansons Auctioneers, said the maul had been used but was in "remarkable condition".

Image copyright Hansons
Image caption The mallet is expected to create worldwide interest when it is auctioned

The relative of the vendor, who wanted to remain anonymous, had been camped in a cave in the Mokattam Hills, near Cairo, and discovered the artefact while digging.

Mr Hanson said: "To hold something which is twice as old as Christianity and to close your eyes and think back to the Ancient Egyptian civilization, and the time of the Pharaohs, is quite remarkable."

Ancient Egypt

Image copyright Getty Images

Almost 5,000 years ago, a series of small settlements along the River Nile were unified into one kingdom, dominating the Mediterranean for much of the following 3,000 years.

At 4,500 years old, the mallet dates to about the same time as the Pyramids at Giza, pictured, built in the fourth dynasty from 2575 to 2465BC, although they are about 10 miles (17km) away.

In 30BC, the last Pharaohs Cleopatra and her son Caesarion died and Egypt became part of the Roman Empire.

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