The image of the god Sebek. Crocodile heads found in tombs of ancient Egyptian nobility
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Polish archaeologists excavating a Theban necropolis find crocodile heads in the tombs of two Egyptian nobles , according to Heritage Daily.
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The Theban Necropolis is a region on the west bank of the Nile, opposite Thebes (Luxor) in Upper Egypt. It was used for ritual burials during most of the pharaonic period, especially during the New Kingdom.
The team has been studying two tombs in the necropolis since 2013, one belonging to “Cheti”, an important official during the reign of Pharaoh Nebhepeter Mentuhotep II (reigned 2055-2002 BC), and the second belonging to an anonymous but high-ranking official in the royal court .
In both tombs, archaeologists recently discovered the heads of nine crocodiles wrapped in cloth, which were neither mummified nor otherwise processed for storage.
The skulls belonged to representatives of the species “Crocodylus niloticus” – a crocodile that lives in the freshwater environments of Africa. Only fragments of the skull and lower jaw have survived, probably due to preliminary excavations by Herbert Winlock of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, since the researchers of that time paid very little attention to the remains of animals and dumped them in a heap.
In ancient Egypt, crocodiles were object of worship in the form of the god Sebek. Sebek is associated with the Nile crocodile or the West African crocodile and is represented as a crocodile or as a man with the head of a crocodile.
Sebek was also associated with pharaonic authorities, fertility and military prowess, but, in addition, he served as a protective deity, especially from the dangers that the Nile presents.