Mummified crocodiles provide insight into mummy-making over time :
Mummified crocodiles : At the Egyptian site of Qubbat al-Hawa during the 5th century BCE, according to a study published in the open-access journal PLOS ONE on January 18, 2023, by Bea de Cupere of the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Crocodiles were mummified in a unique way. Sciences, Belgium, and Jaén University, Spain, and colleagues.
Egyptian archaeological , generally finds Mummified animals , including crocodiles at sites. Despite several hundred mummified crocodiles being available in museum collections around the world, they are often not fully examined. In this study, the authors provide a detailed analysis of the morphology and preservation of ten crocodile mummies found in rock tombs at the site of Qubbat al-Hawa on the west bank of the Nile.
The mummies included five isolated skulls and five partial skeletons, which researchers were able to examine without unwrapping or using CT-scanning and radiography.
Based on the crocodilians’ morphology, two species were identified :
West African and Nile crocodiles, which range in length from 1.5 to 3.5 meter.
The preservation style of the mummies differs from those found at other sites, notably the lack of evidence of the use of resin or embalming of the bodies as part of the mummification process. The style of preservation suggests a pre-Ptolemaic era, corresponding to the final phase of Qubbat al-Hawa’s funerary use during the 5th century BCE.
Analyze mummies between archaeological sites is useful for identifying trends in animal use and mummification practices over time. Limitations of this study included the lack of available ancient DNA and radiocarbon dating, which would be useful for refining the identification and dating of the remains.
The authors mention that, “Ten crocodile mummies, including five more or less complete bodies and five heads, were found in an undisturbed tomb at Aswan, Egypt. The mummies were in various states of preservation and completeness.