RELIC FROM BIR HOOKER

Maps and pictures of Bir Hooker (1942) Satellite Image from Bir Hooker (2000) On the way to Bir Hooker by taxi Near Bir Hooker (1988) Egyptian farmhouse near Bir Hooker. The Egyptian grave robber shows me the relic. Simulated scene from a Japanese TV production Me and the mummified giant finger in my hands View from the left side with banknote View from behind with chopped off bone Top view with banknote Front view with figernail X-ray of the relic Me and the Egyptian grave robber. Simulated scene from a Japanese TV production

You can read the complete prehistory here or in my novel LOST GOD.

 

Relic from Bir Hooker    

I force myself to look up from it and at Nagib. He’s standing above me, his face blank. For a moment, we stare at each other. His deep-black pupils mirror the knowledge of an unspeakable mystery from long, long ago. I gawk at the thing once again. Is this really what it appears to be? The chopped-off finger of a humanoid giant, as they are described in ancient myths, legends, and the Bible?
Unwilling and unable to believe it, I study the object more closely. Nagib notices my suspicion, reaches into the trunk once again, produces a leather portfolio, and hands it to me. The portfolio contains an old magnifying glass and an envelope with a yellowed document. The paper has an ornate letterhead with Arabic and Latin characters, a handwritten report, stamp, and signature. Under a rusty paper clip, there’s what looks to be a checklist, along with an X-ray that’s been cut down by hand and a faded Polaroid photo of the finger. Nagib explains that he inherited the relic from his father, who in turn had received it from his father. But the old man can’t or won’t tell me where the finger originally came from and where the rest of the body is. Regarding the X-ray, he says that his son, who died in a car accident, had the relic examined by a doctor acquaintance who worked at a hospital.

 

A fake?

My father made antique reproduction furniture. I spent a lot of time in his workshop, becoming familiar with a wide variety of materials, so I know the feel of different types of wood, leather, fabric, plastic, etc.
Never before have I examined anything as carefully as this thing. The magnifying glass is very helpful. Still, I can’t find anything that suggests a fake.
At some point, Nagib indicates that it’s time for me to wrap up my visit. He still lets me photograph the finger and indulges my request to take a picture of me with the relic, and then sees me out. As I leave, I ask him whether the thing is for sale, which he negates with an energetic gesture.
During the drive back to Cairo, I think hard. Did I miss something? Nagib deals in stolen antiques. Why not also in forgeries? I’m sure there’s good money to be made with fake figurines, vessels, furniture, and other objects from the pharaonic period. But what about a creepy thing like this? A forgery of this quality, with fake documentation and an X-ray to boot, would undoubtedly be very expensive. And he doesn’t even want to sell it. The longer I chew on this, the more certain I am: The relic of Bir Hooker is not a fake.

For more information, see Investigating the Relic.

error: © Gregor Spörri. All rights reserved