London, Apr 17 (ANI): The age-old mystery of Egyptian Pharaoh Akhenaten's lost left big toe has been solved-it has been residing in Liverpool for the past 50 years.
And this week, the toe has been transferred from the store of University of Liverpool to Cairo to be reunited with the rest of its owner's mummified corpse for the first time in almost half a century.
Dr Robert Connolly, a retired university lecturer, has revealed that the toe was given by the Egyptian authorities to a Liverpool University professor of anatomy, Ronald Harrison, who studied mummies' biology in the 1960s but the exchange had gone unrecorded.
"Nobody knew it was there but me and two others. I always thought I should give it back some time. This time I thought I should get on with it and do it now," the Telegraph quoted Connolly as saying.
Harrison and Connolly, his assistant, had used the toe for testing from 1968 and into the 1970s.
Meanwhile, the toe was gradually forgotten, and lay untouched in a locked sample case in Connolly's laboratory.
He said that he tried to give it back a year ago, when he attended a conference of Egyptologists in Manchester.
He put the toe in his pocket in the hope that he would meet someone from the Supreme Council, but in the end no representatives attended.
Then, he approached Dr Frank Ruhli, from Zurich University, one of the world's leading mummy experts, who was visiting England, and offered to act as an intermediary.
He rang Dr Zahi Hawass, the head of the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities, with his offer.
"He was very surprised," said Connolly.
They decided to send the toe by courier to Zurich, fearing that Ruhli might have difficulty explaining to Swiss customs why he was carrying an old toe into the country.
And then Ruhli took it on to Cairo in person.
A statement from the Supreme Council of Antiquities said: "The toe is now back in Egypt and will be displayed in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo." (ANI)