Crocodile mummies found along the Nile

Ancient ostrich eggs found in 4000-year-old fire pit

The secrets of ancient Pharaohs and Egyptians still have the power to astonish: a new research paper chronicles the discovery of 2,500 year crocodile mummies, preserved in a ritual dating back to the time of Sobek, a fertility deity worshipped by ancient Egyptians. 

The mummies, which look like they could crawl out of the mud at any moment, are likely from two different species found in the region at the time. They were found in a tomb at Qubbat al-Hawa on the west bank shore of the Nile. If you want to dig into the science of the discovery it is outlined in PLoS One. 

Crocodile mummies, Nile

Crocodiles always played an important role in the Egyptian culture. Linked to a deity, they were also a food source and an important medicine –– their fat was used to treat aches and pains and balding. While mummified animals from other species have been found regularly such as ibises, baboons and cats, this is the first time adult crocodiles were found. “To hear you have 10 crocodiles in a tomb. That’s special,” said Bea De Cupere, an author of the study.

The study began back in 2018 when researchers found small tombs under a trash dump from the Byzentine era. Sandwiched between the dump and and four human burials (from 2100 BCE) were the crocs. Doesn’t this news just make you want to get out in the world, in the Middle East especially and explore? While there are many active sites and digs in countries like Israel, Egypt and Jordan, consider what’s happening in Saudi Arabia. Ancient sites now opening to the world and archeologists needed to explore them. 




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