Now That’s a bargain! Ancient Egyptian seal believed to show Ramesses the Great is discovered in a charity shop costing £12.
Archaeologist James Balme has come across an ancient Egyptian seal that could be more than 3,000 years old, among people’s discarded junk while trawling the website of a charity shop in Hertfordshire. He paid just £12 for it. He believes it bears the cartouche of Ramesses the Great, who ruled Egypt between 1,279 and 1,213BC. The carved stone has hieroglyphs carved into one side that can be used as a seal, and a scene on its reverse, showing a man sitting down with an eagle over his head and a scarab beetle at his feet. The seal still has traces of red ochre as well as grains of sand embedded deep inside the carved lines of the object.
The carved stone piece has hieroglyphs carved into one side, which could be used as a seal and a scene on its reverse, showing a man sitting down and an eagle over his head and a scarab beetle at his feet. Further analysis is needed to try and work out whether the man is Ramesses II
This image shows the seal, left and the impression it makes, right, meaning the hieroglyphs read as they should.