Archaeologists from the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences were able to study the mummies. Archaeozoologist Bea De Cupere (RBINS) declared that Ancient Egyptians sacrificed crocodiles during rituals to their god Sobek. In 2019, archaeologists from the University of Jaén uncovered a tomb containing crocodile mummies in Qubbat al-Hawa, a site near the city of Aswan in southern Egypt. The small rock cut tomb contained five skeletons and five skulls of large crocodiles. It lies next to six other tombs in which dignitaries of the region were buried. The crocodiles all date from the pre-ptolemaic era, before 304 BC. The mummified lizards may have been used during rituals for the Egyptian god Sobek, the god of water and fertility, often depicted with a crocodile head. Kom Ombo, just 50 kilometres away, was an important centre for crocodile worship. The smallest crocodile is 1.8 metres long, the largest 3.5 metres. They belong to two different species: the Nile crocodile and the West African crocodile. Remarkably, three skeletons were almost complete, with the other two missing quite a few parts. In fact, one crocodile was so well preserved that its stomach stones were still present. The study appears in the scientific journal PLOS ONE.
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