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Lent funeral? Ritual in Ancient tomb signal butchered turtles

#Cosmoread: 17 butchered a woman and child in the grave of soft shelled turtle: an ancient settlement on the banks of the Tigris River in Turkey, archaeologists have discovered a strange.

2,500 years ago, a typical Mesopotamian river turtle that was not offered the menu, but researchers think that in this case, being buried with the dead animals before might have been eaten in a funeral ritual.

The Kavusan Hoyuk tomb is said, in southeastern Turkey near the modern town of Bismil was discovered at the site of an ancient mound. The archaeological record shows a very long time-from the site of the third millennium BC to the late 14th century to the E was captured, but now, it seems to disappear. Once the controversial Ilisu dam project is finished, Kavuşan Höyük and many other historical sites like Hasankeyf will be filled with a new reservoir.

The hydroelectric project before digging to avoid salvage and underwater archaeological materials that are soon to study, took place on the banks of the Tigris. Kavuşan Höyük, the excavation took place 2001-2009.

During the 2008 season, archaeologists, three ancient silos after a dirt floor had been dug in the Assyrian period, dating back to the sixth century BC discovered around the grain silo or grain originally used for storage, but they one of the graves was repurposed for. The bottom of the excavation, a woman and a child, found buried directly above the other. Surrounding them carapaces (shells) and other skeletal remains were 17 floods, soft shelled turtle.

“It was really something unexpected,” Rémi Berthon, National Museum of Natural History in Paris zooarchaeologist, which was tasked with the study of animal remains. -And Tortoise shells, and more generally, tortoise shells were found in the tomb of the former first have. But the river, soft shelled turtles, and many of them find, was a surprise.

What’s more, Berthon had seen clear evidence that the turtles were slaughtered. Cut marks on the bones suggest the turtles were placed on their backs were cut open and the meat inside; His limbs were cut as well, the researchers said.

Berthon soft shelled turtle meat he has proved himself, and he might be in trouble if she had with conservationists: the conservation of nature (IUCN) endangered by the International Union for the Euphrates soft-shelled Tortoise is listed. Despite the precarious situation, the species were not held locally on. However, sources suggest ethnographic turtles are sometimes sold in the fish market, the animals in the region today have no economic function.

“I think the fishermen are very happy with this species because they think that they are very aggressive and are not destroying fishing nets,” Berthon said.

There are other archaeological sites that turtles and tortoises in some cultures may be seen as a guide to the rebirth of the evidence. For example, the green sea turtle shells and skulls often 5 Ra’s Al Hamra cemetery, in Oman, which dates back to the fourth millennium BC were found at the grave.

“We already knew that, in the Near East, turtles and turtle has a special role that usually is associated with the life after death,” Berthon explained. What is surprising here, he said that these special powers can be applied to soft-shelled turtle, one animal overlooked today. See no signs of trauma or injury, it is not clear how the two people died buried with turtles. But the strange burial funeral feast -and a possible -might also indicate that these two had evidence of high social status or symbolic position.