Egyptian Monument Used to Destroy Plague Corpses

Egypt-epidemic-discovery-1Archaeologists working at the Funerary Complex of Harwa and Akhimenru in the west bank of the ancient city of Thebes uncovered the gruesome remains of a body-clearing operation created during an epidemic that ravaged Thebes in the third century A.D. The epidemic in Egypt was so terrible that one ancient writer believed the world was coming to an end. (The writer – St. Cyprian and Cyprian’s Plague will be featured next week.)

Egypt-epidemic-discovery-coffins used in kilnsThe archaeologists found bodies covered with a thick layer of lime (historically used as a disinfectant). The researchers also found three kilns where the lime was produced, as well as a giant bonfire containing human remains, where many of the plague victims were incinerated.

Egypt-epidemic-discovery-2nd secADcoffinfaceCheck out the pics of the fire pit with skulls and the coffins and coffin fragments that were burned as fuel in the kilns. (So much for living forever. I knew mummies were burned for fuel in Egypt at one time, but really!)

Credit: Photos by N. Cijan.

Tomorrow, All about Harwa

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