A global report has revealed that most of the living creatures of ancient Egypt, such as cats, falcons and cobras, were mummified in tombs across Egypt.
A report published in the journal Popular Science indicated that some large and fearsome predators have been mummified in the Nile River, including some species of crocodiles that can weigh up to 16,500 pounds.
A team of researchers from institutions in Belgium and Spain have discovered that crocodiles mummified in a unique way at the burial site of Qubbet al-Hawa in Aswan, Egypt, in the fifth century BC.
Although there are several hundred mummified crocodiles in museum collections around the world, they are not often closely examined.
The team studied both the morphology and preservation of 10 crocodile mummies, ranging in length from 5 to 11 feet.
Specimens were found during excavations in 2018 in rock-cut tombs at Qubbet al-Hawa on the west bank of the Nile, and the mummies included five partial skeletons and individual skulls.
“The crocodiles are an outstanding find,” study co-author Pia de Cooper of the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences told PopSci.
He continued: “Although I have worked with animal bones before, the crocodile skulls were very impressive and I am very excited about the opportunity to study crocodile remains.”
The ancient Egyptians had a unique way of mummifying crocodiles, so the team believes that mummies come from two types of crocodiles, namely West African crocodiles and Nile crocodiles, depending on their shape.
They also found that the preservation method was different from those used for mummies found elsewhere, and there was no evidence that resin was used to seal holes in bodies or that evisceration (removal of internal organs) was part of the mummification process. .
“It is speculated that the animals were first placed elsewhere on the surface or buried in a sandy environment, which allowed the bodies to dry naturally. It may not have been an excision of the intestines,” says de Cooper.
This method of preservation indicates that it occurred in the pre-Ptolemaic era or before the reign of the Ptolemaic dynasty in Egypt, a dynasty that included Cleopatra VII, and this method corresponds to the last stage of funerary customs used during the fifth century BC. according to the team.
Source: Sada El Balad