(ORDO NEWS) — Nine ancient heads of crocodiles were found in the Theban necropolis.
This necropolis is located in Upper Egypt on the west bank of the Nile, opposite Thebes (modern Luxor). It was mainly used for burials during the New Kingdom.
The new finds were discovered by specialists from the Center for Mediterranean Archeology at the University of Warsaw, led by Dr. Patrik Chudzik.
Since 2013, they have been exploring two tombs, one of which belonged to “Cheti”, an important official of the pharaoh Nebhepetra-Mentuhotep II (2055-2002 BC), and the second to an unknown but high-ranking dignitary who served at the court.
Archaeologists have found nine cloth-wrapped crocodile heads in two tombs. These heads were not mummified or subjected to any other conservation methods.
According to scientists, this find is unique and one of a kind. The skulls belong to Crocodylus niloticus, a large Nile crocodile.
“We know a lot about crocodile mummies. All of them are mummies of whole crocodiles hidden in specially prepared tombs for sacred animals. In our case, everything is different.
Firstly, only heads were buried, not whole bodies. Secondly, they were not mummified, but only wrapped in linen.
Finally, the remains were found in the graves of people, and not in the tombs of sacred animals, ”says Chudzika.
Crocodiles were worshiped as the image of the god Sebek. Sebek is depicted either as a real crocodile or as a man with a crocodile head.
He was associated with the power of the pharaohs, fertility and military prowess, but in addition he protected from the dangers of the Nile.
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