Monday, March 18, 2013

Body of Bronze Age donkey found intact in temple courtyard grave in Israel

As reported by Megan Gannon of Live Science, March 10, 2013:

Archaeologists in southern Israel say they've uncovered a young donkey that was carefully laid to rest on its side more than 3,500 years ago, complete with a copper bridle bit in its mouth and saddle bags on its back.

Its accessories...lead researchers to believe the venerated pack animal was sacrificed and buried as part of a Bronze Age ritual...
Go here to see the original journal article.

A similar discovery was made in Egypt several years ago, although the Egyptian donkeys seem to have led rougher lives than the one discovered in Israel. As reported by Jeanna Bryner of Live Science, March 9, 2008:

One of the earliest Egyptian kings carried his "beasts of burden" into the afterlife. Paleoscientists discovered the skeletons of 10 donkeys nestled in three mud graves dating back 5,000 years ago when Egypt was just forming a state.

The donkey skeletons were discovered in 2003 lying on their sides in graves at a burial complex of one of the first pharaohs at Abydos, Egypt, which is about 300 miles (480 kilometers) south of Cairo...
Go here for the full text of the original journal article.

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