An unassuming clay pot bought at a car boot sale for a measly £4 ($6) five years ago has been revealed to be a 4,000 year old remnant of an ancient civilisation
Expert analysis revealed it was created in modern-day Afghanistan and the item was created during the reign of the Indus Valley civilisation.
The piece of pottery is decorated with simplistic animal figures and sold at auction for £80 ($100) – a 2,000 per cent profit.
Derby native Karl Martin spotted the item at a local jumble sale five years ago and used it to store toothbrushes in his bathroom.
An unassuming clay pot (pictured) bought at a car boot sale for a measly £4 ($6) has been revealed to be 4,000 years old and sold at auction for £80 – a 2,000 per cent profit
After using the pot (pictured) in his bathroom for several years a colleague at an auction house confirmed the antique was 4,0000 years old from Afghanistan
The 49-year-old Mr Martin, who works for Hansons Auctioneers in Etwall, Derbyshire, said: ‘I liked it straight away. I used it in the bathroom to store my toothpaste and toothbrush – it even ended up getting a few toothpaste marks on it.
‘I suspected it might be very old but forgot all about it. Then, one day at work, I was helping Hansons’ antiquities expert James Brenchley unload a van and noticed some pottery which was similar to my toothbrush pot. The painting style looked the same and it had similar crudely-painted animal figures.
‘I rescued the pot from my bathroom and asked him to examine it for me. He confirmed it was a genuine antiquity from Afghanistan and dated back to 1900 BC.
‘That means it’s around 4,000 years old – made 2,000 years before Christ was born. It’s amazing, really. How it ended up at a South Derbyshire car boot sale, I’ll never know.
‘I like the pot but decided to sell it at Hansons’ November antiquities auction just to see how it would do.
‘There was interest straight away with advance bids placed and it eventually sold for £80 – not a fortune but a decent profit.
‘Perhaps I should have held on to it. I feel a bit guilty about keeping my toothbrush in it now.’
Derby native Karl Martin (pictured) spotted the item at a local jumble sale five years ago and used it to store toothbrushes in his bathroom
The 49-year-old Mr Martin (pictured), who works for Hansons Auctioneers in Etwall, Derbyshire, said: ‘I liked it straight away. I used it in the bathroom to store my toothpaste and toothbrush – it even ended up getting a few toothpaste marks on it
WHAT DO WE KNOW ABOUT THE INDUS VALLEY CIVILISATION?
The Indus Civilisation, also known as the Harappan Civilisation, was an advanced Bronze Age society.
It developed mainly in the northwestern regions of South Asia from 5,300 to 3,300 years ago.
The Indus cities were at their richest between and 2600 and 1900 BC.
Along with Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia, it was one of three early civilisations of the Old World.
The Indus occupied the Indus River Valley area in modern Pakistan and India
The Empire stretched from the Arabian Sea to the Ganges, over what is now Pakistan, India and Afghanistan.
At its peak, the civilisation may have had a population of more than 5 million, making up 10 per cent of the world’s population.
Among their settlements, researchers have uncovered the world’s first known toilets, along with complex stone weights, drilled gemstone necklaces and exquisitely carved seal stone.
Etched in of these artefacts is an unusual and complex script, which researchers are racing to decipher.
Why the Civilisation disappeared around 3,000 years ago remains a msytery, but experts have suggested war, famine or even climate change could have been responsible.
James Brenchley, head of antiquities at Hansons Auctioneers revealed the item was a relic from the Indus Valley civilisation.
Mr Brenchley said: ‘This was a Bronze Age civilisation mainly in the north western regions of South Asia.
‘Along with Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia, it was one of three early cradles of civilisations of the Old World, and of the three, the most widespread. The civilisation was primarily located in modern-day India and Pakistan as well as Afghanistan.
‘I do come across items like this from time to time and was familiar with the painting technique.
It was probably brought back to the UK years ago by wealthy travellers.’
James Brenchley, head of antiquities at Hansons Auctioneers revealed the item was a relic from the Indus Valley civilisation