NATIONAL Museums Scotland(NMS) has found two missing pieces of an “extremely rare” ancient Egyptian treasure, 160 years after it first arrived in its collection.
The leading museums group acquired the 3,400-year-old wooden box, inscribed for Pharaoh Amenhotep II, in the 1850s, but it was in a fragmentary state with a portion of it missing, however, museum bosses have now obtained two of the missing pieces after they appeared on the art market.
The rare fragments are significant to the value of the box because they feature a royal motif, allowing experts to be certain of the treasure’s royal associations, which had long been guessed-at but never before confirmed. They also reveal that part of the box was incorrectly restored in the mid-20th century.
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Dr Margaret Maitland, senior curator of the ancient Mediterranean collection at NMS, said: “Palace objects from ancient Egypt are extremely rare, so it’s very exciting for us to be able to confirm this object’s royal connections.” She said finding the fragments helps to fill in the gaps “in our understanding of its story”.