Spinning Statue Creates Buzz at British Museum After Moving on its Own

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By Justin Sarachik, Christian Post Reporter
June 24, 2013|12:08 pm

A spinning statue in an ancient Egyptian exhibit in a British museum is leaving scientists and museum workers scratching their heads after being caught on camera.

The moving statue is a 10-inch tall replica of someone named Neb-Senu and is on display at Manchester Museum for the last 80 years, when the staff noticed it has begun to rotate on its own.

"Most Egyptologists are not superstitious people. I wondered who had changed the object's position without telling me," Campbell Price, a curator at the museum, told the U.K.'s Sun.  "But the next time I looked, it was facing in another direction–and a day later had yet another orientation."

According to ABC News, Price then locked the statue up in a case at its original position and set up a time lapse camera for 11 hours.

Scientist believe something as simple as vibrations may have caused the statues movement.

"The statue only seems to spin during the day when people are in the museum," said associate professor of Egyptian archeology at the University of California, Berkeley, Carol Redmount, to ABC News.  "It could have something to do with its individual placement and the individual character of the statue."

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"Brian thinks it's differential friction. Where two surfaces, the serpentine stone of the statuette and glass shelf it is on, cause a subtle vibration which is making the statuette turn," Price said of Professor Brian Cox who think friction with vibrations are the solution. "But it has been on those surfaces since we have had it and it has never moved before. And why would it go around in a perfect circle?" he asked.

The statue, believed to be 4,000 years-old was discovered in a mummy's tomb and has an inscription in hieroglyphics that reads, "bread, beer and beef," a "prayer for offerings for the spirit of the man," Price told the Sun.

Follow Justin on Twitter - @JSarachik_BRMag
 

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