Ancient Falcon shrine discovered in an abandoned seaport
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Ancient Falcon shrine discovered in an abandoned seaport

A Falcon shrine linked to unknown ancient rituals that were performed by the Blemmyes has been discovered in an abandoned Red Sea port city. 

A recent excavation in a deserted seaport city, that borders Egypt’s Eastern desert by a team of archaeologists, has identified a small Egyptian temple, that had been adapted by a nomadic people Belmmyes, for their own belief system.

The discovery was made by archaeologists from the Sikait Project led by Professor Joan Oller Guzman at the Autonomous University of Barcelona. Their findings include mummified falcons, harpoons, cube-shaped statues, and a stele that indicates religious-related activities.

falcons muumified 2019
Credit: Arc News

Whilst buried falcons have been discovered previously in the Nile Valley, this is the first significant find of 15 mummified Falcons, that are accompanied by eggs. 

The Falcon Shrine was inscribed with “It is improper to boil a head in here” which has been interpreted as a warning against blasphemous behaviour, a message if you will, barring people who enter the shrine from boiling the heads of the animals inside the temple.

More importantly, the discovery has provided detailed information about the religious shrine that dates back to the fourth to sixth centuries AD.

Professor Oller announced other findings in the study:While Christianity had become the officially recognized religion in all parts of the Roman Empire by this time, including in Egypt, the shrine found at Berenike was constructed by the nomadic Blemmyes people, who went on to form their own kingdom in Lower Nubia (southern Egypt and the Sudan) in the late fourth century.”

Completely independent in spirit, the Blemmyes held steadfast to their ancient religious traditions and preserved a metaphysical belief system that was at odds with post-fourth-century Roman beliefs.