Red Ice News

The Future is the Past

An archaeological first: sixteen severed hands found buried in ancient Egyptian city
New to Red Ice? Start Here!

An archaeological first: sixteen severed hands found buried in ancient Egyptian city

Source: io9.com


It’s a grisly find, but an unprecedented one, as well. Archaeologists in Egypt have unearthed 16 severed hands, buried in four pits throughout the ancient city of Avaris. Interestingly, if you’re looking for left hands, you’re out of luck; every one of the newly discovered meathooks is a righty.

Two of the pits are situated at the front of an ancient throne room thought to have belonged to a Hyksos ruler named Seuserenre Khyan, and contain a hand apiece. "Each pit represents a ceremony," explains archaeologist and Egyptologist Manfred Bietak, who led the excavation. Bietak’s team believes the remaining fourteen hands were buried some time later, in two pits located in the palace’s outer grounds.

According to Bietak, the 3600-year-old hands are the first physical evidence of a practice referenced in Egyptian writing and art, wherein the right hand of a bested enemy would be severed from the rest of the body. Reasons for dismemberment were manifold. For one thing, it made counting victims easier, and severed hands could also be exchanged for gold. But it also robbed an enemy of his strength; in cutting off an opponent’s hand, "you deprive him of his power eternally," Bietak explains.



[...]

Read the full article at: io9.com








Severed Hands Discovered in Ancient Egypt Palace
By Owen Jarus | LiveScience.com

They are all right hands; there are no lefts.

"Most of the hands are quite large and some of them are very large," Manfred Bietak, project and field director of the excavations, told LiveScience.

The finds, made in the Nile Delta northeast of Cairo, date back about 3,600 years to a time when the Hyksos, a people believed to be originally from northern Canaan, controlled part of Egypt and made their capital at Avaris a location known today as Tell el-Daba. At the time the hands were buried, the palace was being used by one of the Hyksos rulers, King Khayan. [See Photos of the Buried Hands]

The right hand

The hands appear to be the first physical evidence of a practice attested to in ancient Egyptian writing and art, in which a soldier would present the cut-off right hand of an enemy in exchange for gold, Bietak explains in the most recent edition of the periodical Egyptian Archaeology.

"Our evidence is the earliest evidence and the only physical evidence at all," Bietak said. "Each pit represents a ceremony."

Cutting off the right hand, specifically, not only would have made counting victims easier, it would have served the symbolic purpose of taking away an enemy’s strength. "You deprive him of his power eternally," Bietak explained.

It’s not known whose hands they were; they could have been Egyptians or people the Hyksos were fighting in the Levant.

[...]

Scientists are not certain who started this gruesome tradition. No records of the practice have been found in the Hyksos’ likely homeland of northern Canaan, Bietak said, so could have been an Egyptian tradition they picked up, or vice versa, or it could have originated from somewhere else.


Read the full article at: livescience.com

Comments

We're Hiring

We are looking for a professional video editor, animator and graphics expert that can join us full time to work on our video productions.

Apply

Help Out

Sign up for a membership to support Red Ice. If you want to help advance our efforts further, please:

Donate

Tips

Send us a news tip or a
Guest suggestion

Send Tip

Related News

Archaeologists Discover Ancient Sunken City in the Mediterranean
Archaeologists Discover Ancient Sunken City in the Mediterranean
ISIS Blows up the Tetrapylon and Roman Amphitheatre in the Ancient City of Palmyra
ISIS Blows up the Tetrapylon and Roman Amphitheatre in the Ancient City of Palmyra

Archives Pick

Red Ice T-Shirts

Red Ice Radio

3Fourteen

How Right Wing Is Japan Today?
Yoko Mada - How Right Wing Is Japan Today?
European Cooking & Philosophy
Elisabeth - European Cooking & Philosophy

TV

The Great Twitter Purge: What Should We Do? - Operation Reinhard
The Great Twitter Purge: What Should We Do? - Operation Reinhard
Infiltrating Flat Earth International Conference - Leftovers
Infiltrating Flat Earth International Conference - Leftovers

RSSYoutubeGoogle+iTunesSoundCloudStitcherTuneIn

Design by Henrik Palmgren © Red Ice Privacy Policy