Letter: Ancient Egypt in a cigar box

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The Independent Online
Sir: In response to the report of David Keys ('Sacred Egyptian relics said to lie under the Needle', 6 December), there is no mystery about the present location of the 'granite or dolorite sphere' and 'hook-like bronze implement' discovered in 1872 by John Dixon in a shaft leading off the Queen's Chamber of the Great Pyramid. They do not lie beneath Cleopatra's Needle but form part of the collection of the Department of Egyptian Antiquities in the British Museum.

They were presented to the department in 1972 by Mrs M. E. Porteous, great grand-daughter of John Dixon. Now registered as EA 67818 and 67819 respectively, they are still stored in Dixon's original cigar box.

Yours sincerely,


Keeper of Egyptian Antiquities

The British Museum

London, WC1

13 December