Over 2,000 mummified ram heads discovered at the Temple of Ramses II in Abydos, Egypt

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In the ancient temple of Ramses II in Abydos, Egypt, at least 2,000 mummified ram heads dating from the Ptolemaic period and an Old Kingdom palatial structure have been discovered, according to antiquities officials on Saturday.

In the temple, mummified ewes, dogs, wild goats, cows, gazelles, and mongooses were also found alongside the ram heads. The Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities maintains that these votive offerings demonstrate the continued reverence for Ramses II at the site, approximately 1,000 years after his death.

Authorities indicated that these discoveries will expand knowledge of the site over more than two millennia up to the Ptolemaic period, which spanned about three centuries until the Roman conquest in 30 B.C.

A mummified ram head was found during excavation work carried out by an American mission from the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World at New York University in the Ramses II temple in Abydos, Sohag Governorate, Egypt. The image was released on March 25, 2023, by the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities.

Abydos, located in the Egyptian governorate of Sohag, about 435 km south of Cairo, is one of Egypt’s major archaeological sites, although less visited. It was a necropolis for early ancient Egyptian royalty and a pilgrimage center for the worship of the god Osiris.

Excavations were carried out by a mission from New York University’s Institute for the Study of the Ancient World. Alongside the mummified animal remains, the team uncovered a large palatial structure with walls approximately five meters thick from the Old Kingdom’s Sixth Dynasty, in addition to several statues, papyri, ancient tree remains, leather garments, and shoes.

Sameh Iskander, head of the mission, stated that the structure could help “reestablish the sense of the ancient landscape of Abydos before the construction of the Ramses II temple.”

Abydos, situada en la gobernación egipcia de Sohag, a unos 435 km al sur de El Cairo, es uno de los principales sitios arqueológicos de Egipto, aunque menos visitado. Fue una necrópolis para la realeza del antiguo Egipto y un centro de peregrinación para el culto al dios Osiris.

Via Reuters

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