A Spanish team has just published the findings of their excavation work at the Graeco-Roman port of Berenike in the Eastern Desert, which include an unusual shrine containing 15 headless falcons.
The falcons were buried alongside eggs – a practice not known anywhere else in Egypt.
The temple shrine also contained inscriptions describing previously unknown rituals, and a stela with the warning: “It is improper to boil a head in here”, forbidding people from carrying out impure activities within the shrine area.
The discovery dates to the Late Roman Period (4th to 6th centuries AD) when the city was occupied by a nomadic people known as the Blemmyes, who adapted the small traditional Egyptian temple to fit their own religious beliefs.
Images: ©The Berenike Project / Sikait Project