Irish Tourist Buys in Morocco Ice Age Relic worth €30,000 for €60

Irish Tourist Buys in Morocco Ice Age Relic worth €30,000 for €60

When an Irish tourist bought an ornately carved, 15-centimeter tall statue for €60 in Morocco’s blue northern town, Chaouen, little did he expect that he acquired an ice age relic made from rhino horn thought to be 25,000-years-old.

The Irish tourist visited Chaouen, a town in the Rif Mountains of northwest Morocco, inland from Tangier, in 2006, and bought the carved figurine in an antiques shop that sold “mostly Islamic and Roman items”, the Irish Times reported.

The lucky Irishman could become €30,000 richer after scientists in an Oxford laboratory told him, following a radiocarbon dating test, that the cheap antique is made of a prehistoric piece of rhino horn.

The scientists said that the piece was made from the horn of a “wooly rhino”– an extinct species of mammal that flourished during the Ice Age – and was 25,000-years-old.

After taking the figurine to Mealy’s Auctioneers in Co. Kilkenny, he decided to put it up for auction on March 6. The estimated value of the figurine is believed to be up to €30,000.

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