• Thu. Mar 30th, 2023

Mummified crocodiles provide insights into mummy-making over time


Jan 27, 2023

Crocodiles have been mummified in a novel approach on the Egyptian website of Qubbat al-Hawā in the course of the fifth Century BC, in line with a research printed January 18, 2023 within the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Bea De Cupere of the Royal Belgian Institute of Pure Sciences, Belgium, and the College of Jaén, Spain, and colleagues.

Overview of the crocodiles throughout excavation. © Picture Credit score: Patri Mora Riudavets, member of the Qubbat al-Hawā workforce.

Mummified animals, together with crocodiles, are frequent finds at Egyptian archaeological websites. Regardless of a number of hundred mummified crocodiles being out there in museum collections worldwide, they don’t seem to be usually examined totally. On this research, the authors present an in depth evaluation of the morphology and preservation of ten crocodile mummies present in rock tombs on the website of Qubbat al-Hawā on the west financial institution of the Nile.

The mummies included 5 remoted skulls and 5 partial skeletons, which the researchers have been capable of study with out unwrapping or utilizing CT-scanning and radiography. Primarily based on the morphology of the crocodiles, two species have been recognized: West African and Nile crocodiles, with specimens starting from 1.5 to three.5 meters in size.

The preservation type of the mummies is completely different from that discovered at different websites, most notably missing proof of resin use or carcass evisceration as a part of the mummification course of. The type of preservation suggests a pre-Ptolemaic age, which is per the ultimate part of funerary use of Qubbat al-Hawā in the course of the fifth Century BC.


Dorsal view of the complete crocodile #5.Patri Mora Riudavets, member of the Qubbat al-Hawā team
Dorsal view of the whole crocodile #5. © Picture Credit score: Patri Mora Riudavets, member of the Qubbat al-Hawā workforce.

Evaluating mummies between archaeological websites is beneficial for figuring out traits in animal use and mummification practices over time. The restrictions of this research included the shortage of accessible historical DNA and radiocarbon, which might be helpful for refining the identification and courting of the stays. Future research incorporating these methods will additional inform scientific understanding of historical Egyptian cultural practices.

The authors add, “Ten crocodile mummies, together with 5 kind of full our bodies and 5 heads, have been present in an undisturbed tomb at Qubbat al-Hawā (Aswan, Egypt). The mummies have been in various states of preservation and completeness.”

This text is republished from PLoS ONE underneath a Artistic Commons license. Learn the original article.

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