Historic temple: 2000 ram mummies unearthed in Egypt

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As of: 03/26/2023 4:22 p.m

In Egypt’s Abydos, researchers have unearthed numerous animal mummies. It is assumed that these are offerings for Ramses II. In the case of similar finds, however, accusations of sensationalism have recently been raised.

A research team from New York University has unearthed more than 2,000 mummified ram heads from the Ptolemaic period in the ancient Egyptian city of Abydos. The archaeologists also exhumed mummies of sheep, dogs, goats, cows, gazelles and mongooses – meerkats belong to this species – according to the Cairo Ministry of Antiquities and Tourism. Excavation site is a temple of Pharaoh Ramses II.

According to the leader of the US group, Sameh Iskander, the ram’s heads are offerings. These pointed to a worship cult for Ramses II even 1000 years after his death.

This photo, released by Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities, is said to show one of the mummified rams’ heads unearthed in the temple of Ramesses II at Abydos.

Image: AFP

Hope to learn more about the temple

The director of the Supreme Antiquities Council, Mostafa Wasiri, expressed hope that the finds would help to learn more about the temple and life there. The cult building is said to have been erected between 2374 and 2140 BC and the Ptolemaic period (323 to 30 BC).

In addition to the animal mummies, the team reportedly also discovered remains of a sixth dynasty palace with walls about five meters thick, as well as several statues, papyrus, remains of trees, leather clothing and shoes.

The site is around 500 kilometers south of the capital Cairo on the banks of the Nile and was famous in ancient times for the tomb of Osiris, the god of the dead.

accusation of showmanship

The Egyptian authorities had repeatedly reported archaeological finds in the recent past. Since, according to researchers, the discoveries were often of little scientific importance, accusations of sensationalism were raised.

Egypt is in a severe economic crisis and relies on tourism. By 2028, the government is aiming for 30 million visitors per year.



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