An ancient medical instrument has been rescued from a dusty Egyptian graveyard in a country where its fate is unknown, archaeologists say.
A team of researchers from the National Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology in Delhi unearthed the relic, which had been buried with other objects and buried in a courtyard in the town of Jeddah in the ancient Egyptian city of Timna.
The object is the only intact piece of ancient Egyptian medicine equipment that is known to exist in the country.
The relic is the second medical device discovered in Jedda, and was unearthed during excavation of a house that belonged to a local family in the area.
The find was reported in the scientific journal Antiquity.
The ancient medicine was found in a building used by a local doctor and his family, which is now part of the National Archaeological Museum in Juddah.
The team of archaeologists also discovered a wooden box with a number of Egyptian hieroglyphics and inscriptions in the courtyard.
The team also uncovered a bronze pot containing two pieces of medicine that were found on the ground and the remnants of a wooden pot containing a third piece of medicine, which was later discovered to be a medical instrument.
Dr Amrul Haq, one of the archaeologists who conducted the excavation, told The Hindu that the ancient medicine had been placed in the garden of a villager who had lived in the vicinity of the building for several years.
The medical instrument is thought to have been used to treat a person’s chronic pain, and had been worn by a person during a period of sickness or war.
The artifact was buried with the rest of the belongings of the family in a field.
“There was a certain uncle who was an Egyptian doctor and he had given the family medical instruments to his patients.
The family had used it to treat the pain of their relatives during the period of illness,” Haq said.
The archaeologists found that the family had also used the medical instrument for healing, he added.
Experts say the object was likely to be an ancient medical device used by Egyptians, who had developed a number similar devices over time.