A slightly more important "old thing" (so to speak) ;-) -the Rosetta stone!
This is also from an old slide I just scanned in. It is from a trip I went on with a friend of mine to England. We stayed in London for a week and then hired a car and drove down around the English countryside for a second week. Great fun! :-D
When in London, we went to see the British museum (wich would easily have been worth a whole day to explore). We weren´t quite energetic enough to that, though.
But one of the most interesting and impressive (I thought) was the Rosetta Stone.
It was created two hundred years BC with an inscription in three languages. (A decree by king Ptolemy V). There are two in egyptian language scripts (hieroglyphics and Demotic), and one in classical Greek.
The greek text was then used to decipher the lost language of hieroglyphics.
(Hieroglyphs fell out of use in the third century).
A captain in Napoleon´s army (Pierre-François Bouchard) discovered the stone half-buried in 1799 while guiding construction work at a fort near the city of Rashid (Rosetta). The Napoleonic army was so awestruck by this unheralded spectacle that, according to a witness, "it halted of itself and, by one spontaneous impulse, grounded its arms."
Bouchard immediately understood the importance of the find, and the stone was brought to the Institut de l'Égypte in Cairo, wich had been founded the previous year by Napoleon Bonaparte.
The british, however, took Egypt in 1801 and thereby came into posession of the stone.
It has been displayed ever since in the british museum, with only one break (during WW2).