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Special statue in Manchester

December 5, 2013

This is an example article from the website, News in Levels. You could choose the news articles that suit your students’ English levels and interests. There’s also a video that comes with every article which helps to train students’ listening. In general, the articles in level 3 are fast English news from native speakers. This website makes it easy to introduce authentic materials to your classroom.

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Scientists claim to have solved the mystery of the rotating Egyptian statue. The 4,000 year-old artwork had curators at Manchester Museum puzzled when they discovered it was spinning at night (Note: This isn’t true. The statuette doesn’t spin at night.).

“Recently, we noticed that this little statuette, which is only about ten inches high, had started moving in its case and we were curious why this was. And so we set up a time-lapse camera that would take pictures of it and sure enough we saw it moving.”

“This is the time-lapse video with an overlay of the vibration values.”

“Starting I just said in the evening at six o’clock, we’ve got a peak. During the night time, it drops down which is when the statue stops moving and then it starts to peak again from six o’clock, seven o’clock in the morning.”

“That’s absolutely right. And the vibration is a combination of multiple sources so those buses outside on a busy road, this football activity, that’s all of those things combined.”

“And that movement is moving the cabinet and that in turn is twisting are our, our little man around.”

“That’s, that’s absolutely right.”

“There were four statues in the cabinet. Why isn’t any one of them moving?”

“This statue has a convex base as a number at the bottom and that makes it more susceptible to vibration than the others which have a flat bottom.”

“Is this conclusive?”


Well, we now have the answer but this rather dull explanation may disappoint those who thought its movement was due to a magical curse or ancient spirit.

Difficult words: claim (say), puzzled (confused), statuette (small statue), time-lapse camera (camera which takes a picture after a longer period of time), overlay (picture through which you can see the picture under it), peak (top), convex (curved outwards, like the surface of the eye), susceptible (vibration influence it easily), conclusive (true).

Class handout:

Special statue in Manchester


From → News articles

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