Jan 26, 2023

No One Expected To Find Giant Mummified Crocodiles In Egyptian Tombs In Such Good Shape

Archaeologists and anthropologists (and anyone else who goes opening ancient tombs) probably don’t keep BINGO cards for what they might find inside of them – but if they did, I doubt any of them had “giant mummified crocodiles” listed.

Then again, maybe they did. People always do surprise me.

The crocodiles in question were found at the bottom of a rock tomb, and while it’s not weird to find mummified animals, these are different enough to intrigue archaeologists.

 No One Expected To Find Giant Mummified Crocodiles In Egyptian Tombs In Such Good Shape

Image Credit: PLOS

Authors described what they found in an official statement.

“Ten crocodile mummies, including five more or less complete bodies and five heads, were found in an undisturbed tomb at Qubbat al-Hawa (Aswan, Egypt). The mummies were in varying states of preservation and completeness.

The find is located on the west back of the Nile and dates to around the 5th century BCE.

Since the crocodiles were wrapped in linen bandages and palm leaves as opposed to being preserved with resin or bitumen, their innards were easier to image – an exciting realization for the curious.

Screen Shot 2023 01 25 at 2.32.26 PM No One Expected To Find Giant Mummified Crocodiles In Egyptian Tombs In Such Good Shape

Image Credit: PLOS

Scientists believe their bodies dried out naturally over time on a bed of sand, which means that a majority were in a poor state to begin with, though one did retain both skin and some soft tissue.

Using CT and radiograph technology, the team was able to see inside the remains without unwrapping or damaging them. They found two separate species: one West African and one Nile crocodile (the longest of which was over 11 feet large).

They were not able to determine how the predators were caught and subdued, since there were no physical injuries present. Instead, they posit the giant reptiles succumbed to drowning, suffocation, or overheating.

 No One Expected To Find Giant Mummified Crocodiles In Egyptian Tombs In Such Good Shape

Image Credit: PLOS

It appears Egyptians were excited about having crocodiles along on their journey to the afterlife. They would make good gifts, apparently, and you know. Having the bragging rights after subduing something so fierce couldn’t hurt.

You won’t catch me suffocating a crocodile to take along with me into the ether, but hey, to each their own.

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