Terracotta vase left in UK garden for 20 years is ancient Egyptian relic

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The 13-inch high ornament with its distinctive pharaoh headdress was originally designed to hold the internal organs of the dead as part of the mummification process.

The canopic jar, complete with cover, was left outside in a garden in north Dorset until its owner decided to have it valued.

Experts discovered that the lid of the ornament was modelled on the face of the Egyptian god Imseti, wearing a black striped wig.

The jar was designed to hold the liver and Imseti would have protected the organ for use in the afterlife, according to ancient tradition.

The piece was dated between 1550-1069 BC and is now being sold at the auction house Duke's in Dorchester.

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