Europe

German boy finds 'a mummy' in grandmother's attic

A sarcophagus with a mummy on the attic of a private house in Diepholz, Germany (August 2013)
Image caption The Kettler family plan to get their "mummy" examined by archaeological experts in Berlin

A 10-year-old German boy has found what appears to be a mummy hidden in a corner of his grandmother's attic.

The "mummy" was inside a sarcophagus complete with hieroglyphic adornments, packed in a wooden crate.

But it is unclear whether the bandaged item found by Alexander Kettler in Diepholz, northern Germany, is a genuine relic from ancient Egypt.

Alexander's father Lutz Wolfgang Kettler, a dentist, said he had not X-rayed the mysterious find.

Instead he plans to load it into his car and drive it to Berlin to be examined by experts, he told the Bild newspaper.

Image caption Could the boy's grandfather have brought home an unusual souvenir from Egypt?

Mr Kettler said he had little doubt that the sarcophagus, as well as a death mask and a canopic jar - used by ancient Egyptians to store removed organs - found nearby, were replicas.

Mummy unwrapping?

However, he believes the mummy may be real.

The dentist's late father travelled to North Africa in the 1950s.

At that time there was still a trade in genuine mummies, Mr Kettler told his local paper, Die Kreiszeitung.

And there was a trend for mummy unwrapping parties in the 1950s, he said.

Asked if the "mummy" smelled bad, Mr Kettler said no.

It had lain undisturbed in the attic for at least 40 years, he said.

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