Discovered The Ancient Remains Of A Young Child Buried With Scores Of Dead Dogs

The remains of the child alongside 142 dogs.

The sands of Egypt are rich with historical discoveries, but archaeologists working near Cairo recently came across a puzzling find while excavating a necropolis. There, they unearthed the ancient remains of an eight-year-old child laid carefully across the bodies of 142 dogs.
Archaeologists with the Centre for Egyptological Research of the Russian Academy of Sciences (CEI RAS) made the strange discovery while excavating a necropolis at the Faiyum Oasis, west of the Nile River and approximately 60 miles south of Cairo. According to Euro Weekly News, the burial appears to date from between the first century B.C.E. and the first century C.E.
“A child of eight to nine years old was laid on top of the bodies of 142 dogs of different ages, mostly puppies (87 percent),” CEI RAS explained. Though this scene was strange enough, archaeologists noted an additional oddity: someone had placed a linen bag placed around the child’s head.
“Burials like those discovered by the Centre’s specialists are not typical for Egypt,” CEI RAS noted, speculating, “The mass burial of dogs may indicate a synthesis of religious and magical ideas of the Egyptians and foreigners living in [Faiyum], which gave rise to new forms of ritual practice.”

Archaeologists believe that the child died during the Roman Era. Here, Roman ruins are visible at the Faiyum Oasis.

But despite the head-scratching scene, archaeologists uncovered a couple of clues about what may have happened to the dogs and to the child.
According to Heritage Daily, archaeologists discovered traces of blue clay on the dogs’ remains. Since a similar type of clay was commonly found in reservoirs in ancient Egypt, it’s possible that some kind of catastrophic flood killed the animals. Plus, there’s no sign of violence on the dogs, so drowning is a likely explanation for why so many of them died at once.
Though questions remain, the discovery of the child and the dogs offers a tantalizing glimpse into ancient Egyptian life. Heritage Daily notes that the strange find was made near the ancient Egyptian town of Crocodilopolis, a once-thriving settlement dedicated to the crocodile god Sobek.

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