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Thread: Archaeology: Mysterious case of death on the Nile -4kya

  1. #1 Archaeology: Mysterious case of death on the Nile -4kya 
    Forum Cosmic Wizard SkinWalker's Avatar
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    http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/st...635965,00.html

    "Excavations in Egypt have unearthed a grisly massacre at an ancient royal city

    Archaeologists have begun to piece together the story of a mysterious massacre more than 4,000 years ago in the former royal city of Mendes, which flourished for 20 centuries on a low mound overlooking the green fields and papyrus marshes of the Nile delta north of Cairo."

    The archaeologists were apparently excavating a site linked to Rameses II, a pharaoh who was usually associated with the Biblical myth of Exodus. They've uncovered at least 36 bodies and the rubble of a sacked and burned Old Kingdom structure, dating to between 2250 BCE and 2150 BCE.

    From the article: "They found old and young, men and women, tumbled in disordered heaps. In a civilisation that made a cult of death, such discoveries are rare: even the poorest were interred formally, and with some provision for the afterlife."

    Even before I read the quote above, I was thinking the same thing. This is largely unprecedented among the Egyptians, though I suppose it's possible that these were not Egyptians (Hyksos, perhaps) and, therefore, not eligible for the respect and ritual of proper death.

    Did the Egyptians limit their belief in the Sah, Kah, Ba & Ank to Egyptians and that these aspects of the "soul" were absent among other peoples? This could account for their lack of care of the bodies, which were haphazardly thrown into their final resting places, discarded like rubbish.


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  3. #2  
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    Sadly, newspapers are not reliable sources of information. however, in Egyptian history, there are 3 intermediate periods where central authority broke down. The one after the reign of the Old Kingdom dynasties, the pyramid builders, was esp. bad, with reports of massive devastation, starvation, cannibalism, de-population etc. The last usual Old Kingdom pharoah was dated about 2180 BCE.

    This event dated to about that time is probably part of the degeneration/destruction of Old Kingdom civilization which occurred then.

    The Hyksos, 'foreign princes' from Palestine area, did not come into Egypt until the intermediate period between the Middle & New Kingdom dynasties, about 400 years later.


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    Forum Cosmic Wizard SkinWalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by steve
    Sadly, newspapers are not reliable sources of information.
    True, but in this case, I think the report is fairly reliable. Donald Redford of Pennsylvania State University is a reliable source, to say the least. Of course, the real data won't be available until he publishes, which could take years.

    Even given the "hard times" of the intemediate period that this event may have occured in (though it appears to be an enitirely New Kingdom strata), it is very odd the manner in which the Egyptians handled the dead.
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