Sometime last year, the beard on King Tut’s famous mask came off broken off and then was quickly repaired using “a quick drying, irreversible material”. Apparently, some sort of epoxy.
Jackie Rodriguez, a tourist who witnessed the repair work on the beard in late August, provided a photo to The Associated Press showing a museum employee holding it in place as the glue sets. “The whole job did look slapstick,” she said. “It was disconcerting given the procedure occurred in front of a large crowd and seemingly without the proper tools.”
Update Sat Jan 24 11:58:55 PST 2015: German restorer, Christian Eckmann, said in a press conference today, that the mask can properly be restored.
In the Sixth Century, somewhere in the Swat Valley, an Indian Buddhist carved this jade figurine of Buddha.
In 1954, the figurine was unearthed in HelgÃ¶, Sweden, during the excavation of a medieval Viking farm. It was found with an Egyptian ladle, a Byzantine bowl, an Irish crozier. It is now on display at the Swedish Museum of National Antiquities in Stockholm.
How it traveled to Sweden, and how long it took, is anyone’s guess.
This story reminds me of the shark tooth clubs found buried at Cahokia Mounds in Southern Illinois. Obviously, the clubs weren’t local, and had made their way through a trade network to just outside St Louis. When I visited Cahokia in early high school and learned of the clubs, I imagined them being traded from person to person all the way up from Florida. Each transaction moving the them further inland, and therefore making them rarer and more valuable. Now that I’m older, I think they probably became more of a curiosity, rather than an valuable piece. “That weird fish club,” instead of “the rare exotic fish club,” so to speak. Still, multiple people probably paid a premium for them. Just not a large one.