Thanks guys! Always fun to do something out of ones comfort zone every now and again.
The Katanga Slab
In 1879 Malinese archaeologist Amad Bagayogo was excavating a 9th century Congolese shrine when his crew stumbled upon something quite remarkable. A circular limestone plaque had been hidden under the central altar carefully wrapped in linen and leather. Initial examinations indicated that it appeared to be much older than the rest of the shrine.
Bagayogo brought the slab to the nearby city of Lubumbashi where it was further examined by the Russian professor Pjotr Allujev, who estimated it to be between 60 000 to 75 000 years old, making it one of the oldest human pieces of artwork ever discovered.
En route back to Timbuktu in early 1880 Bagayogo’s airship was shot down by an unknown assailant. Neither he, his crew of seventeen nor any of the artefacts they were carrying, including the slab, have yet to be seen again. Later that same year professor Allujev sent copies of the photographs he had taken of the slab to over a dozen universities throughout the world, along with whatever findings he had made while studying it.
Two weeks later he too disappeared without a trace.
The plaque is 18 inches in diameter and one and a half inch thick. It is entirely made of limestone with no traces of having ever been painted. The front shows a female figure in a messianic pose holding two serpents at bay from a group of faceless devotees by her feet. Presumably a religious figure.
While I only had the opportunity to examine the slab for a few hours three equally remarkable observations came to me: The plaque had been enchanted, which was instrumental in determining it’s age, established by measuring the Astral decay of the original enchantment. From this we can conclude that the plaque is not just one of the oldest archaeological artifacts ever discovered, but also the oldest artificially created Magic item ever found. Furthermore, the enchantment and the craftsmanship proves the existence of a previously unknown culture with great knowledge of both the Physical and the Astral arts at a time when most other human cultures had yet to learn the secrets of fire.
-Excerpt from prof. Allujev’s notebook.