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Why You Must Visit the Crocodile Mummy Museum
in Kom Ombo, Egypt
Don’t miss the Crocodile Mummy Museum in Kom Ombo, Egypt!
It is located next to the Temple of Kom Ombo.
I loved it!
It is full of the coolest things to see including a large number of crocodile mummies of different ages and sizes, mummified crocodile eggs, and fascinating pilgrims’ offerings.
You will learn all about the crocodile god Sobek – god of the Nile and creator of the world.
Ready to explore it? Let’s go!
The Sobek Cemetery
The Crocodile Mummy Museum in Kom Ombo has an incredible display of crocodile mummies.
The crocodile mummies come from the necropolis located near the small village of El-Shatb, about 2 km south from the Temple of Kom Ombo.
The necropolis was used from the Middle Kingdom though the Greco-Roman period for human burials, however it contained a large number of animal mummies, among them crocodiles.
The Crocodile God Sobek –
God of the Nile And Creator of the World
The ancient Egyptians believed that the gods sent physical manifestation of themselves to earth in the form of symbolic animals.
The god Sobek was depicted as a crocodile, or a man with the head of a crocodile. He usually wore a plumed headdress adorned with the sun disk and two horns. Here is a relief from the Temple of Kom Ombo depicting Sobek.
Image Credit: Hedwig Storch via Wikipedia
There are many myths that mention Sobek as the creator of the world.
Moreover, he was regarded as a fertility god since, as some myths claim, he formed the River Nile from his sweat ensuring the fertility of the land. Sobek was considered to be the patron of the army as well.
Additionally, Sobek was regarded as a symbol of the Pharaoh’s power and the protector of the rulers. He was thought to give the strength to the Pharaoh in times of need.
Pharaoh Amenhotep III felt a special bond with Sobek and chose to be depicted with that god in particular. There is a spectacular sculpture depicting Sobek with Amenhotep III at the museum.
In addition, there is a beautiful votive dating back to the reign of Amenhotep III at the museum. It shows a pair of crocodiles on a base of the block decorated on all sides.
And, finally, Sobek was called upon to protect the dead in the Underworld. He could bring sight to the dead and awake their senses.
There is no doubt in my mind that the ancient Egyptians feared the crocodiles. However, above all, they admired crocodiles for their fertility and virility. In addition, they saw them as fearless guardians of their young. And, fierce fighters as well.
The average size of the Nile crocodile ranges between 10-20 feet in length. The weight could be anywhere between 300 to 1,650 pounds.
In the wild, the Nile crocodiles have a potential to live between 70 to 100 years of age.
The females usually lay between 25 to 80 eggs. Interestingly, the sex of the offsprings is determined by the surrounding temperature. When the temperatures are low, the hatchlings are all females, when the temperatures are high between 89 to 94 F, then the offsprings will be males.
The Crocodile Mummies at the Museum
The eastern side of the Temple of Kom Ombo, was dedicated to the god Sobek.
Moreover, live crocodiles were worshiped and cared for by the priests. After their death, it was believed that the soul of the god moved to the body of another crocodile. The dead crocodile would be mummified.
Notably, the crocodile body was desiccated with natron and then was wrapped in linen bandages saturated with resins and oils.
At the Crocodile Mummy museum, you will be able to see a mummified crocodile placed on bier. In addition, you will be able to see a number of the ceramic coffins, which protected the mummies.
The Offerings of the Pilgrims
at the Crocodile Mummy Museum
Pilgrims who came to the Temple of Kom Ombo to worship Sobek brought votive offerings. They ranged from small mummified crocodiles, stelae, to staues.
The crocodile Mummy musuem has a large number of stelae on display. Some of them are carved with the images of the god Sobek. Some provide the name of the dedicator.
Another popular votive offering to the god Sobek were crocodile eggs and fetuses. There are examples of the mummified crocodile eggs at the museum.
The Crocodile Mummy Museum Location and Entrance Fees
The Crocodile Mummy Museum is located next to the Temple of Kom Ombo.
The entrance to both the Temple of Kom Ombo and the Crocodile Mummy Museum is 140 EGP.
After visiting the Temple of Kom Ombo and then the Crocodile Mummy Museum, I went back to my cabin on board the River Nile cruise ship. And, this is what was waiting for me in my cabin:
Pretty cool, isn’t it?
Also, make sure to read my post: 9 Epic Things to See at the Temple of Kom Ombo
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