Berenice Troglodytica, also known as Baranis, was a fledgling port city on the Red Sea in ancient Egypt. The remains of seven “huddled” skeletons in a tomb complex have been discovered at Berenice Troglodytica by Polish archaeologists, reports PAP. These seven individuals were buried in stone boxes with the bones of the lower limbs resting on the chest, which the archaeologists said was an extremely unusual burial method. The skeletons were located in several layers of different strata at the tomb complex, which has been dated to 1500 years ago.
Berenice Troglodytica And Its Links To Trade Routes to India
“This is not a natural position. In order to achieve it, the deceased had to be bound with ropes or tied with cloth," said Dr. Mariusz Gwiazda, from the Center of Mediterranean Archeology of the University of Warsaw, who led the Berenice Troglodytica research team. The rope would have been tied around the neck and legs, causing the body to fold against itself. One of the burials was a mother and child almost folded into each other. The burial goods and artifacts found in these tombs were clear evidence that the deceased were elite members of this society.
Dr. Gwiazda’s primary area of research is Berenice Troglodytica, along with Prof. Steven Sidebotham from the University of Delaware in the USA. Interestingly, after studying the accounts of Agatarchides of Cnidus, who was a Greek historian and philosopher in the 2nd century BC, Dr. Gwiazda was able to contextualize this find. Agatarchides described the funerary customs of the tribes of the Eastern Desert, adding that strings were tied around the neck and legs of the deceased so that the body would assume a crouching position. “Perhaps it was the same in this case,” said Dr. Gwiazda, according to the PAP report.