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Egypt: Archaeologists uncover 2,000 mummified ram heads

March 27, 2023 at 1:35 pm

A view of over 2.000 mummified ram heads dating from the Ptolemaic period and a palatial Old Kingdom after being found in the Temple of Pharaoh Ramses II in the historical city of Abydos in the south of Egypt on March 25, 2023. [EGY/Ministry of Tourism & Antiquities – Anadolu Agency]

Archaeologists have uncovered at least 2,000 mummified ram heads from the Ptolemaic period in the city of Abydos in southern Egypt.

The ram heads were found with mummified ewes, dogs, wild goats, cows, gazelles and mongooses, which are thought to be offerings for Rames II, whose temple they were found in.

Also at the site was a palatial Old Kingdom structure from the sixth dynasty dating back 4,000 years, several statues, papyri, leather clothes and shoes.

Abydos in the Upper Egyptian governorate of Sohag was a necropolis for Egyptian royalty. People would visit on pilgrimage to worship the god Osiris, ruler of the afterlife.

The discovery of the mummified ram heads comes amid a string of antiquities uncovered in Egypt including a hidden corridor close to the main entrance of the Great Pyramid of Giza and a pink granite sarcophagus.

In March, archaeologists found a smiling sphinx and a shrine in an ancient temple in southern Egypt which was thought to represent Roman Emperor Claudius.

The discoveries may be an attempt to boost tourist numbers to the country which have been affected by the ongoing crackdown in the country and widespread arrests.

The 2011 uprising and the global coronavirus pandemic have also affected the number of people visiting the country.

In 2020 the number of people visiting Egypt was 3.7 million, down from 13 million the previous year.

READ: Archaeologists find smiling sphinx in southern Egypt