Russian dagger given to British geologist makes 48,000 pounds

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Sir Roderick Murchison was presented with the dagger when he visited Russia in 1840 to carry out the first geological survey of the western half of the country.

In so doing he coined the geological term the Permian Period - which relates to rocks laid down 299 to 251 million years ago - after the region of Permia in the Ural mountains.

On the expedition he was presented with the dagger by a Russian commander.

Besides the Murchison crater, Sir Roderick has at least 15 geographical features on Earth named after him, including the Murchison River in Western Australia, Murchison Falls in Uganda and Mount Murchison in New Zealand.

Sir Roderick is considered one of the founding fathers of British geology. He established the Silurian system for classifying rock formations.

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