Traces of previously unknown rituals found in an Egyptian temple. They shouldn't be there

The Sikait Project Research Group recently published their findings in the American Journal of Archeology.

excavations in January 2019 at the ancient seaport of Berenice, located in the eastern desert of Egypt.

They identified a small traditionalan Egyptian temple that the blemmii adapted to their own belief system after the 4th century. Scientists named it the Temple of the Falcon and found harpoons, cube-shaped statues and a stele with indications related to religious activities.

The Blemmii are a nomadic Nubian tribe who spokeCushitic language, described by Roman historians. They lived around the 3rd century. BC e. - VI century. n. e. between the Nile and the Red Sea. In the 40s of the VI century. n. e. The Blemmian settlements near the southern borders of Egypt were conquered by the Nubian king Silko.

The most remarkable find is 15 falcons insidetemple, most of which are headless. Although burials of falcons for religious purposes have already been observed in the Nile Valley, as well as the worship of individual birds of this species, researchers have found birds buried in a temple for the first time. Buried falcon eggs were also called unprecedented.

Stele of God-Falcon and Head; scale = 30 cm (K. Braulinskaya; drawing by O. E. Kaper). Credit: American Journal of Archeology (2022). DOI: 10.1086/720806

Elsewhere, researchers have foundmummified decapitated falcons, but always only individuals, not groups. There is a curious inscription on the stele: "It is indecent to boil your head here." This is not a dedication or a sign of gratitude at all, but a message that forbids all visitors to boil animal heads inside the temple, which is considered a blasphemous activity.

The authors of the study note that "all theseelements point to intense ritual activities combining Egyptian traditions and the rituals of the Blemmia people. The discoveries expand archaeologists' knowledge of the semi-nomadic people who lived in the eastern desert during the decline of the Roman Empire.

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