Dr Aidan Dodson, a senior research fellow in Bristol’s Department of Archaeology and Anthropology made the discovery while undertaking a long-term project to catalogue every single Egyptian coffin in English and Welsh provincial museums.
Dr Dodson said: “When I walked into Torquay Museum for the first time I realised that the coffin was something really special. Not only was it of a design of which there is probably only one other example in the UK (in Bristol), but the quality was exceptional.
“Cut from a single log of cedar wood, it is exquisitely carved, inlaid and painted. For a child to have been given something like that, he must have had very important parents – perhaps even a king and queen. Unfortunately, the part of the inscription which named the boy and his parents is so badly damaged that we cannot be certain.
“The inscription had been re-worked at some point for a new owner – a 2,500 year old mummified boy, anonymous but given the name Psamtek by his current custodians, that came to Torquay Museum with the coffin when in was donated in the 1950s. ‘Psamtek’ is in fact nearly 1,000 years younger than the coffin itself.” Read more.