Rediscovered: Missing Artifact from the Great Pyramid Found Inside a Cigar Box in Scotland!

The Great Pyramid of Giza is one of the most studied and well-documented ancient structures, and any significant discoveries related to it would likely receive widespread attention in the archaeological community and the media.
It is something of a reporter’s dream when a press release comes in saying that a rare wooden artifact from the  Great Pyramid  of Egypt has been discovered in a cigar box in Scotland. And as if this were not enough to make for an awesome headline, the ancient Egyptian ritualistic  pyramid relic  dates to “at least 3,000 BC,” a fact that will have writer Mr. Graham Hancock choking on his breakfast this morning, having promoted the idea that these architectural structures are much older than currently believed by mainstream archaeologists.

[Author Note: The writer now retracts this statement. While during his early research Mr Hancock may have “considered” the pyramids were perhaps built older than the generally accepted dates, in his later works he has been perfectly clear that he agrees with the mainstream dating.]


Curatorial assistant, Abeer Eladany, spent ten years working at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo before coming to the University of Aberdeen. She discovered the pyramid relic, made up of cedarwood fragments, inside a cigar box. ( University of Aberdeen )

The Cedarwood fragments were stumbled upon by an Egyptian-born researcher at the  University of Aberdeen . Belonging to a collection known as “the Dixon relics,” the artifact was discovered inside the pyramid’s Queens Chamber in 1872 by British engineer Waynman Dixon, who ultimately lost it. Having been found in the famous  Great Pyramid , an article in  The Guardian  says that the  pyramid relic  represents “one of only three objects ever recovered from inside the last remaining wonder of the ancient world.”

Egyptian curatorial assistant, Abeer Eladany, was exploring in the University of Aberdeen’s  Asia collection  when she dusted off an old cigar box decorated with her country’s former national flag. When she opened the time capsule, that has been overlooked for over 100 years, she gazed upon once hyper-sacred wooden fragments from the  Great Pyramid , while standing in Aberdeen, in the northeast of Scotland, about as far from Cairo as one can get. Speaking of this exceptionally synchronistic occurrence, Eladany told the  BBC that she “couldn’t believe it” when the penny dropped and she realized what she was holding in her hands.


Illustrations by John Dixon of what became known as the Dixon relics. (Harper’s Weekly /  Public domain )

What are the odds of an Egyptian researcher in Scotland finding an object so ancient and culturally significant to her home country? Eladany said she “could never have imagined it would be here in north-east Scotland that I’d find something so important to the heritage of my own country.” She added that while the discovery of small fragment of wood might not seem like much, “it is hugely significant given that it is one of only three items ever to be recovered from inside the  Great Pyramid .”

Analysis of the wooden pyramid relic reveals that it was made from a tree dating to around 3341 to 3094 BC, around 500 years earlier than the  Great Pyramid  is said to have been constructed. Under the supervision of Pharaoh Khufu, the  pyramid is purported to have been built sometime between 2580 and 2560 BC. While alternative historians will no doubt see this as the long awaited smoking gun demonstrating the largest building in the ancient world is indeed older than currently accepted by academia, Neil Curtis, head of museums and special collections at the University of Aberdeen said “the date relates to the age of the wood.”

Dr. Curtis suspects that the sacred artifact was crafted from a very special piece of wood, “maybe from the center of a long-lived tree,” he said. Another possibility for the wood appearing within the pyramid is because wood was such a rarity in ancient Egypt, an arid landscape which was greatly void of trees. It could be that wood was “treasured and recycled or cared for over many years,” explained Curtis.

Following this branch… You may recall that back in 1993, the world stood still as archaeologists on ” The Upuaut Project ” drove a  robotic camera  into the so-called air shafts of the  Great Pyramid of Cheops . The robot found a “sealed block,” which is described as a sort of door with two metal loops at the end of one air shaft. In the belly of the pyramid the rover also found a large piece of wood. The rare cedar artifact discovered in Aberdeen, was made from a cutoff of that same piece of wood. Dr. Curtis says it will now be debated by Egyptologists as to whether or not this wooden  pyramid relic  was “deliberately deposited, as happened later during the New Kingdom, when pharaohs tried to emphasize continuity with the past by having antiquities buried with them.”


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