Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Personal tools

You are here: Home / Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2017 / An unusual cattle burial at Dayr al-Barshā (Late Period, Middle Egypt)

Veerle Linseele, Wim Van Neer, Harco Willems, and Bart Vanthuyne (2017)

An unusual cattle burial at Dayr al-Barshā (Late Period, Middle Egypt)

In: Archaeozoology of the Near East, ed. by Mashkour, M., Beech, M., vol. 9, pp. 353-377, Oxbow Books.

During excavations in the desert plain near Dayr al-Barshā in Middle Egypt, a circular pit filled with cattle bones was found. The pit, with a diameter of about 1.5m, contained the almost complete skeletons of 15 Egyptian Longhorns, dated to 410–360 cal BC. The material was in a remarkably good state of preservation, but few elements were found in articulation. Apart from the more-or-less complete skeletons, some fragmentary remains of at least three additional individuals have been collected. The age at death, sex and size of the animals has been established and the pathologies and traces on the bones have been recorded. No parallels are known for the cattle burial at Dayr al-Barshā. The animals were probably kept in the context of a local temple economy. In line with common practices at that time, their bodies were macerated and the obtained skeletons ceremonially buried later on.
Peer Review, International Redaction Board
Related content
Earth and History of Life
before 2016 
before RBINS attribution
after RBINS attribution
a paper (pdf)
(Follow editors copyrights policies)
a poster (pdf)