Ancient Egypt mummified animals including crocodiles to perfect the craft of embalming their pharaohs

The ancient Egyptians who were Black Africans by the way and called their land Kmt (land of Blacks) are famed for their science of mummification.

Archeologists, historians and technologists have often
wondered the pristine state of many of the pharaohs, their wives and high
ranking officials in their tombs or funerary chamber centuries after death if not
tampered with by grave robbers.

And now a study is revealing just how the ancient Egyptians perfected the sacred act of mummification – that is embalming a dead body such that it does not go bad to pose a threat to the living.

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The new study, published in the Journal of Archaeological Sciences showed certain animals in ancient Egyptian culture were routinely mummified as sacrifices to the gods. It emerged the Egyptian hunters specifically killed them just to sacrifice them — even if they were dangerous beasts like crocodiles.

Crocodile Mummy
A mummy supplier snuck up on the crocodile and delivered a glancing blow to the head (Porcier et al.)

Aside crocodiles, the ancient Egyptians mummified millions
of animals, including horses, birds, cats, dogs, and others. These various
animals were associated with different gods and their mummified corpses were
used as votives to communicate with the god they represented.

“There are falcon mummies associated with the god Horus, cat
mummies for Bastet, dog mummies for Anubis, ibis mummies for Thoth,” Brooklyn
Museum Curator Edward Bleiberg explained to the Washington Post.

Crocodiles were associated with the Nile and, by extension,
fertility. Sobek, the Egyptian god of fertility took the form of a half-man,

Researchers found the crocodile’s mummification began “very rapidly after the death,” which was caused by blunt force trauma to its head. They came to the conclusion when a 2,000-year-old mummified crocodile which was discovered at Kom Ombo was examined.

To examine the corpse without damaging any bones, soft tissue, and the bandages, the archaeologists used synchrotron scanning. The mummy’s stomach showed it still contained the animal’s last snacks — reptile eggs, insects, a rodent and fish.

“The most probable cause of death is a serious skull
fracture on the top of [the] skull that caused a direct trauma to the brain,”
the researchers wrote. “The size of the fracture as well as its direction and
shape suggest that it was made by a single blow presumably with a… thick wooden
club, aimed at the posterior right side of the crocodile, probably when it was
resting on the ground.”

Researchers suggest that the hunter, and probably
carcasses-for-mummification supplier, likely sneaked up on the beast and
whacked it on the head and then took the body away to be turned into a mummy
treating its corpse with oil and resins and then wrapping the crocodile in
layers of linen.

To determine this, researchers were able to perform a
virtual autopsy on the mummified corpse using advanced imaging technology which
provided extremely detailed images of each of the mummy’s layers.

They determined that they were dealing with a male juvenile
crocodile — likely about three to four years old at the time of its death —
with a body length of 3.5 feet.

Thousands of crocodile mummies, some of which were ornately decorated, were found in a crocodile necropolis in the ancient town of Tebtunis in 1899 and 1900, and there is also evidence of crocodile hatcheries and nurseries — both testaments to the crocodile mummy’s popularity and high demand.

The mummy of Queen Tiye, now in the Egyptian Museum.
The mummy of Queen Tiye, now in the Egyptian Museum. ( Public Domain )

Ahmose-Henuttamehu was found in 1881 entombed in DB320. Like Ahmose-Henutemipet, she was found to be an old woman when she died as her teeth are worn.

Ahmose-Meritamon was found entombed in DB320. Like other
mummies of the era, she was found to be heavily damaged by tomb robbers. An
examination of her mummy shows that she suffered a head wound prior to her
death which was the possible result of falling backwards

Ahmose Inhapy: The mummy was found in the outer coffin of
Lady Rai, the nurse of Inhapy’s niece Queen Ahmose-Nefertari. Her skin was
still present, and no evidence of salt was found. The body was sprinkled with
aromatic powdered wood and wrapped in resin soaked linen.


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