Lana Beech with the Shabti
Ancient Egyptian artefact turns up at St Luke's shop in Crystal Peaks
Why go to the trouble of excavating in the legendary Valley of the Kings for a piece of Ancient Egypt when you can just as easily pop into your nearest St Luke’s Hospice shop?
Staff at the Crystal Peaks St Luke’s shop were intrigued when they discovered what appeared to be an antique Egyptian artefact in a box of donations left anonymously at the store.
Area retail manager Chris Quinlan decided the find was worth exploring further and contacted world-leading archaeologist, author and TV and radio broadcaster Dr Joann Fletcher, who quickly confirmed that the broken piece of pottery was indeed an ancient Egyptian Shabti, dating back to the days of the pharaohs.
Shabtis – which look like miniature Egyptian mummies – were placed in tombs among the grave goods of the dead and were intended to act as servants or minions for the deceased, should they be called upon to do manual labour in the afterlife.
The Shabti left at the Crystal Peaks shop has lost its bottom section somewhere along its long journey from an Egyptian tomb to a Sheffield shopping mall but remains a finely decorated example of Egyptian arts and crafts dating back several thousand years.
Despite being incomplete, it is still believed to be worth around £150 to £200 to a collector interested in antiquities.
“This proves yet again that it’s always worth having a good look around your nearest St Luke’s shop because you really don’t know what you’re going to discover,” said Crystal Peaks shop manager Lana Beech. “It’s incredible that something that has survived for thousands of years should end up on our shelves.”
The Shabti was sold through the St Luke’s eBay page.