This article appeared in the Autumn 1972 (Issue #29) edition of the Kent Archaeological Review.
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Ushabti found at Otford.
In July 1971 an observant young man was for undisclosed reasons, minutely exploring a ditch in the centre of Otford village. He came upon a greenish coloured statuette which he provisionally identified as a Roman mummy!
Christopher Thomas, 10, has the makings of a scientist. He did not smash the
figure, hurl it away or just hoard it with his conkers, sea shells and tea cards.
Instead he passed it to the Otford and District Archaeological Group who were
very happy to submit it for more expert identification. ODAG's private opinion
of the object was
"faience, Egyptian figurine of a type buried as a talisman with
mummies", but cynicism of advancing years cast doubts on its antiquity --
manufactured in a back room in Alexandria for P & 0 tourists who sailed through
the Suez Canal (a recently abandoned waterway linking the Mediterranean with the
The British Museum, however, dispelled all such doubts and pronounced it to be a shabti or ushabti figure of faience dating from the new Kingdom of Egypt (800- 500 BC) and gratified ODAG by confirming it to be from a burial. How did it get to Otford?