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Ancient

How the Egyptians worshiped a god with a reptilian head and why they needed thousands of crocodile mummies

Photo: Getty images

The deification of animals and the forces of nature is a common feature of all ancient civilizations, but some cults make a particularly strong impression on modern man. In the era of the pharaohs of Ancient Egypt, the role of sacred animals was assigned to perhaps the most repulsive and terrible creatures on the planet – the Nile crocodiles.

Sebek – god-crocodile, ruler of the Nile

The role of the Nile in the development of the culture of Ancient Egypt cannot be overestimated – this river determined the very existence of the peoples who settled along its banks. Stretching nearly seven thousand kilometers from south to north, the Nile fed the Egyptians, the floods of the river ensured good harvests in the fields adjacent to the river, and the absence of spills doomed people to hunger. Since the time of the pharaohs, there have been special structures – nilomers, whose purpose was to determine the level of the river to predict the next harvest.

Nilomer

It is not surprising, therefore, the desire to earn the favor of such powerful forces, giving a special ritual character to interaction with a permanent inhabitant of the Nile and, to some extent, with its owner – a crocodile. By the behavior and movement of these animals, the Egyptians, among other things, determined the arrival of floods.

God Sebek (or Sobek), who was portrayed as a man with the head of a crocodile, is one of the most ancient and main gods of the Egyptian pantheon. He was recognized not only as the ruler of the Nile and the lord of its floods, bestowing fertility and abundance, but also as a deity, personifying time, eternity. Sebek was portrayed with the head of a crocodile and in a magnificent crown.

God Sebek

City of Gadov

The cult of Sebek was especially vividly manifested in Crocodilopolis, or the City of Reptiles, located southwest of the ancient capital of Egypt, Memphis. The name “Crocodilopolis” was given to the settlement by the Greeks who came to these lands in the 4th century BC with Alexander the Great. The Egyptians themselves called this city Shedit (Shedet).

El Fayyum – an oasis in the desert

Located in the Fayyum oasis, a wide valley famous for its fertility throughout Ancient Egypt, near Lake Merida, Shedit became a place of worship for the god Sebek and his living incarnations – crocodiles.

In the 19th century BC, the pharaoh of the XII dynasty Amenemkhet III built a pyramid for himself near the city of Shedit. Adjacent to the pyramid was the Labyrinth – a sacred structure that has not survived to this day, a temple complex where Sobek’s son Petsuhos lived.

Which of the crocodiles will be honored to become a divine offspring was determined by the priests – according to rules that are currently unknown.

The crocodile lived in the Labyrinth, where, in addition to the pond and sand, there were many rooms located at different levels – according to ancient sources, in particular, according to the stories of Herodotus, the number of rooms allegedly reached several thousand. The estimated area of ​​rooms and passages of the Labyrinth reached 70 thousand square meters.

Pyramid of Amenemhat III

Serving the crocodile

The priests offered Petsuhos meat, bread and honey, wine as food, and the one who accidentally became a victim of the crocodile’s mouth acquired divine status himself, his remains were embalmed and placed in a sacred tomb. Drinking water from the pond in which such a crocodile lived was considered a great success and provided the protection of the deity.

After the death of “Sebek’s son,” his body was mummified and buried nearby. In total, several thousand of these mummies were discovered, in particular, at the Kom el-Breigat cemetery. The new incarnation of the god was the crocodile, chosen by the same priests.

Mummies of sacred crocodiles

The information about the crocodile cult in Shedite that has survived to our time is extremely scarce and is based, as a rule, on the notes of the Greeks who visited here. The ancient scientist Strabo, who visited Egypt in the first century BC, left the following memories:

Our host, one of the officials who initiated us there in the mysteries, came with us to the lake, taking from dinner some kind of cake, fried meat and a jug of wine mixed with honey. We found the crocodile lying on the shore of the lake. When the priests approached the animal, one of them opened its mouth, and the other stuck a cake there, then meat, and then poured the honey mixture. Then the animal jumped into the lake and swam to the other side. But when another stranger approached, also carrying with him an offering of the firstfruits, the priests took gifts from him; then they ran around the lake and, finding the crocodile, in the same way gave the animal the food they had brought“.

Image of a priest feeding a sacred crocodile

Under Ptolemy II, Crocodilopolis was renamed Arsinoe – in honor of the ruler’s wife.

El-Fayyum is one of the least studied areas of Egypt by archaeologists, so it is possible that in the foreseeable future additional arguments will be received to confirm or refute the legends about the Crocodilopolis Labyrinth.

Nevertheless, the cult of the crocodile god Sebek can be traced in other areas of Ancient Egypt – in particular, in Kom Ombo, a city that used to be called Nubet, there is a temple dedicated to Sebek, where a demonstration of crocodile mummies has been open since 2012. from nearby burials.

Temple of Kom Ombo

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Ancient

A seal with the image of the god Apollo was found in the Jerusalem wall

Photo: City of David

A carved stone whose age is estimated at 2,000 years old adorned the ring and, apparently, was not used as a seal, although it was intended precisely for this. Archaeologists say that images of other gods are extremely rare in Jerusalem.

While exploring the ancient wall of Jerusalem in the west of the city, an unexpected find was made – a jasper seal depicting the Greek god Apollo, according to Daily Mail.

A carved stone whose age is estimated at 2,000 years old adorned the ring and, apparently, was not used as a seal, although it was intended precisely for this.

Scientists believe that although in Jerusalem it is extremely rare to find images of other gods, even such small ones, the owner of the seal apparently relied on “light, purity, health and success” that Apollo personified.

Archaeologist Eli Shukron, who took part in the excavation, said that this is the third such seal found since the time of the Second Jerusalem Temple. The first was found during excavations at Masada, and another – during the research of the Hebrew tombs on Mount Scopus.

“It is rare to find the image of the god Apollo in places identified with the Jewish population. When we found the gem, we asked ourselves:“ What is Apollo doing in Jerusalem? ”And why would a Jew wear a ring with a portrait of a foreign god?” Said Shukron.

Researchers note that Apollo, associated with divination, was one of the most revered gods of that time in the regions of the Eastern Mediterranean.

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Ancient

The Janibekov effect and other indirect evidence of the existence of antediluvian civilization

Recently, in the northeast of Siberia, archaeologists have discovered the sites of ancient people thirty thousand years old. Before that, it was believed that the first people appeared there fourteen, fifteen millennia ago, that is, approximately when mammoths, cave lions and woolly rhinos disappeared. 

People were still considered to be responsible for the disappearance of these animals. Allegedly, the ancient people, who lived by hunting and gathering, mercilessly exterminated these animals for several centuries until they completely destroyed their population.

The decline in the number of rhinos and other animals does not coincide with the appearance of humans in this region, said the professor of evolutionary genetics at the Center for Paleogenetics Love Dalen.

New archaeological data refute this theory and testify in favor of some kind of global catastrophe that happened about 13 thousand years ago.

According to one of the versions, regular global cataclysms on Earth occur due to a regular change of poles (the Janibekov effect).

The Janibekov effect is the intermediate axis theorem, or the tennis racket theorem in classical mechanics – a statement about the instability of the rotation of a rigid body about the second principal axis of inertia. (Wikipedia)

The Janibekov effect and other indirect evidence of the existence of antediluvian civilization
The Janibekov effect and other indirect evidence of the existence of antediluvian civilization

It is believed that periodically, in the interval from 600 to 650 thousand years, the earth’s poles change, which is accompanied by global catastrophes. This is usually accompanied by powerful volcanic eruptions, intensified seething of mud springs, increased degassing, earthquakes and tsunamis, which ultimately leads to fatal changes in the climate and topography of the planet’s surface.

These practically proven facts about the global catastrophe that happened on Earth 13 thousand years ago also indirectly confirm the possible existence of an ancient (antediluvian) civilization in the northern part of the planet.

There is almost no intelligible evidence of the high development of antediluvian civilizations. There are controversial and unrecognized by science artifacts, legends, myths, traditions, strange anomalous areas, the poorly explored bottom of the ocean, probable places for mining stone and other minerals. 

All of this is either poorly researched or deliberately rejected and declared falsification. There are unique ancient structures made of stone, and their design features, construction methods and quality of stone processing are so high that sometimes they even surpass the capabilities of modern civilization.

The Janibekov effect and other indirect evidence of the existence of antediluvian civilization
The Janibekov effect and other indirect evidence of the existence of antediluvian civilization

According to the testimony of some enthusiastic researchers, namely, they are trying to unravel the mysteries of history and return historical science itself to the mainstream of truth, traces of some ancient civilization have been preserved on the Kola Peninsula. 

Most likely – Atlantis, (or Hyperborea), because somewhere in this area supposedly was the legendary island of Atlantis.

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Ancient

A fierce embodiment of Earth: The Mayan structure used for direct dialogue with the gods

Scientists at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) working in Guatemala have found evidence of the ritual significance of the classic Maya pairings. They found a structure the likes of which had never been found in Mesoamerica.

According to EurekAlert, archaeologists visited the city of Ksultun, where an ancient bathhouse was found earlier. She received the name Los Sapos. Scientists have long known that the Maya built a kind of steam room – their baths, according to their principle of operation, were designed for profuse sweating.

These baths were believed to have religious significance. They also sent here for treatment, brought women in labor. However, new research showed that the importance of such structures was even more important. The fact is that the Los Sapos bath, dating from the early classical period (250-550 AD), turned out to be unlike any other ancient Mesoamerican bath.

The researchers concluded that this was not just a place for direct dialogue with the gods. The Maya considered this bath itself an amphibian goddess. Outside, near the entrance to it, scientists found an image of this little-known deity. The goddess is depicted squatting with legs on which iguanas and reed toads sit.

“No other structure in Mesoamerica – a bathhouse or anything else – is like this building,” says STRI archaeologist Ashley Sharp. the amphibian that personified this bath.”

According to lead author of the study, Mary Clarke, the name of this goddess remains undeciphered, although it is written next to the image. Preliminary analysis of the inscription led scientists to speculate that this goddess was responsible for the cycles of pregnancy. The connection between the ideas of the birth of children and the figures of reptiles is often traced in the Maya of the classical period.

She also noted that the Los Sapos baths have been actively used by the Sultun community for about 300 years. But then something important and frightening happened. The fact is that in the “doorway” archaeologists unearthed the remains of an adult man who was buried there around 600 AD.

The analysis showed that after that no one used the bath for another 300 years. Only three centuries after the funeral, someone re-entered this structure. It is interesting that this person or several people had a strictly defined goal – they dug out a burial place and took with them part of the remains.

The rest of them they put in another place, and in the vacated grave they lit a fire. Subsequently, they repeatedly put various offerings to the gods in this grave. Dogs, birds, reed toads and iguanas were sacrificed. Archaeologists found the remains of a child in this pit, as well as numerous stone tools and ceramic shards.

“Archaeologists often find clusters of artifacts that were probably dedicated to places of worship, but rarely is there such an obvious connection between artifacts and objects,” Sharpe says. “From the image on the outer wall of Los Zapos, we know it was a ‘steam room’ “It was a rare occasion for us to associate offerings with the role that this structure played in the life of the community.”

According to the authors of the work, the offerings were probably an attempt to seek help from the goddess who personified Los Sapos. Moreover, it could even be the last attempt to please a supernatural being and prevent the loss of their lands, which were abandoned shortly after the Mayan collapse in 900 AD.

“This supernatural figure is the fierce embodiment of Earth,” Clarke concludes. “When she is unhappy, she can take revenge or deny people the things they need to survive. they negotiated with this goddess for their survival. “

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