Box with materials from ancient city recovered

June 25, 2014
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In this undated photo provided by Dr Tamar Hodos via University of Bristol, the box in which materials from Sir Leonard Woolley’s archaeological dig of the Sumerian city of Ur were found, in Bristol, England . Researchers at Bristol University discovered the box on top of a cupboard. They determined that the 4,500-year-old contents _ consisting of pottery, seeds, food and animal bones _ had come from a tomb in an excavation jointly sponsored during the 1920s and 1930s by the British Museum and the University of Pennsylvania Museum. Senior lecturer Tamar Hodos said Wednesday, June 25, 2014, it’s somewhat like finding a Monet in the attic. (AP Photo/ University of Bristol) NO ARCHIVE ONE TIME USE ONLY

LONDON (AP) — The things you find when you do a good clear out.

Bristol University in Britain learned this when researchers discovered a box containing materials from archaeologist Sir Leonard Woolley's dig of the Sumerian city of Ur tucked away on top of a cupboard.

Researchers determined that the 4,500-year-old contents — consisting of pottery, seeds, and animal bones — had come from a tomb at an excavation in Iraq that was jointly sponsored during the 1920s and 1930s by the British Museum and the University of Pennsylvania Museum.

The materials had been analyzed and described in earlier journals — but no one knows how they ended up in Bristol, which had no part in the dig.

Senior lecturer Tamar Hodos said Wednesday it's somewhat like finding a Monet in the attic.