Egyptian beads in bottle
During World War One, as part of New Zealand’s Expeditionary Force in Egypt, a soldier came across these beads while exploring an ancient burial ground near Zeatoun Military Camp, Cairo, in 1915. Within this small glass bottle are the loose blue and red beads he found, and a note inside recording their significance. The beads were examined by Dr. M. Palmer with expertise on Egyptology, who was of the opinion that they probably date from about 1000 B.C.
Soldiers of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force were known as ‘Massey’s Tourists’ after New Zealand’s Prime Minister William Massey. While based in Egypt, many soldiers were able to view significant heritage sites for the first time, and like many tourists, they found ways to bring back souvenirs, like these beads.
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Courtesy of Waikato Museum Te Whare Taonga o Waikato