LONDON: A 4,000-year-old Egyptian statuette at Manchester Museum has left curators wondering by rotating 180 degrees on it own.
The 10-inch-tall statuette of a man named Neb-Sebu dates back to 1800 BC. It was found in a mummy in Egypt and brought to Manchester Museum 80 years ago.
The relic is kept in a glass case. Every time it is kept with its face looking out, it turns around 180 degrees on its own.
Interestingly, it remains still at night, but slowly turns 180 degrees during daytime.
Experts decided to monitor the room on time-lapse video and were astonished to see it clearly show the statuette spinning 180 degrees – with nobody going near it, said Manchester Evening News.
Is it what scientists who explored the Egyptian tombs in the 1920s were popularly believed to be struck by a ‘curse of the Pharaohs’?
Campbell Price, who is an Egyptologist at the museum, too thinks the museum might have been struck by this ancient curse and believes there could be a spiritual explanation for this phenomenon.
“I noticed one day that it had turned around. I thought it was strange because it is in a case and I am the only one who has a key,’’ Price was quoted as saying.
He said, “I put it back but then the next day it had moved again. We set up a time-lapse video and, although the naked eye can’t see it, you can clearly see it rotate on the film.’’
Price explained that the statuette like this used to go in the tomb along with the mummy during the time of the Pharaohs in Egypt 4,000 years ago.
Mourners used to lay offerings at the feet of the statuette as people in ancient Egypt believed that “if the mummy is destroyed then the statuette can act as an alternative vessel for the spirit. Maybe that is what is causing the movement,’’ Price said.
However, Professor Brian Cox, who teaches physics at university, says friction between the stone surface of the statuette and the glass shelf on which it stands causes a subtle vibration which is making the statuette turn.
But Campbell Price is not convinced.
“But it has been on those surfaces since we have had it and it has never moved before. And why would it go around in a perfect circle?” he said.