February 26, 2024

Archeologists unearthed a previously-unknown cult and ritual in the eastern Egyptian desert at the ancient port city of Berenike. They discovered a shrine called the “Falcon Shrine” and found around 15 falcons buried, most without their heads, along with eggs. The shrine contained an inscription that forbade boiling the heads of birds. The site was originally a traditional Egyptian temple that was later adapted by the nomadic Blemmyes for their own belief system. This discovery sheds light on the ancient falcon cult and rituals, which had previously been found in other sites with mummified headless falcons, but never in a group like in this case. The findings were published in the American Journal of Archaeology and emphasize the uniqueness of this discovery. The inscription at the shrine provides insight into the practices and beliefs of the ancient cult, and the discovery has brought new understanding about the religious practices in the late Roman Period in Egypt. This discovery is significant in the field of archaeology and adds to the understanding of ancient Egyptian and Roman religious traditions. Overall, the findings point to a previously-unknown aspect of ancient rituals in the eastern Egyptian desert.

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