Ancient Egyptian statue spins when no one is near it

25th Jun 2013

The curse of Neb-Senu may not have as grave consquences as that of Tutankhamen, but it's still leaving museum curators baffled.

Tutankhamen's treasures can be found in the Egyptian Museum, a must for holidaymakers on city breaks to Cairo, while the Neb-Senu statuette can currently be seen in Manchester Museum - where it has been recorded moving on its own.

The 4,000-year-old, 10-inch Egyptian figurine gradually rotates over many days to face the back of the locked glass cabinet in which it is displayed, and has to be turned around again by hand.

The slow rotation of the ancient relic - an offering to Osiris, god of the dead - has been caught on film by a time-lapse camera.

It appears to spin only during daylight hours and is seen by many as the strangest thing to hit Egyptology in decades.

Curator Campbell Price, the only person with a key to the cabinet, thinks there may be a spiritual answer.

He said: "In Ancient Egypt they 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."

Others, including TV physicist Professor Brian Cox, have a more mundane explanation for its movement.

They believe the vibrations caused by the footsteps of passing visitors makes the figurine turn.

Anyone whose appetite is whetted by a visit to Manchester Museum and Neb-Senu can visit Cairo's Egyptian Museum on group tours for an extensive peek of Tutankhamen's treasures.


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