Author Topic: Ancient Assyrians buried their dead with turtles  (Read 651 times)

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Offline ASHOOR

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Ancient Assyrians buried their dead with turtles
« on: March 30, 2016, 04:27:09 PM »
Ancient Assyrians buried their dead with turtles



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Ancient Assyrians sent their dead to the afterlife with fearsome companions: turtles. Excavations of a burial pit in southeastern Turkey revealed skeletons of a woman and a child, plus 21 turtles, a team lead archaeologist Rémi Berthon of France’s National Museum of Natural History reports in the February Antiquity.

The burial is part of an Assyrian site called Kavuşan Höyük that dates to between 700 and 300 B.C. The turtle bonanza included shells from one spur-thighed tortoise (Testudo graeca) and three Middle Eastern terrapins (Mauremys caspica), plus bones from 17 Euphrates soft-shelled turtles (Rafetus euphraticus). Butchering marks on the R. euphraticus bones indicate that the turtles may have been eaten in a funerary feast, Berthon and his colleagues write.

Back then, turtles were a regular menu item in many parts of Mesopotamia. Turtle bones also were thought to ward off evil. The abundance of R. euphraticus turtles, a notoriously aggressive species, in this burial pit suggests the deceased had high social status.

To ancient Assyrians, these ferocious reptiles probably represented eternal life and served as psychopomps — mythical guides to the afterlife, the team writes.



source: https://www.sciencenews.org/article/ancient-assyrians-buried-their-dead-turtles


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Offline Assyrian Nationalist

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Re: Ancient Assyrians buried their dead with turtles
« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2016, 06:15:10 PM »
I want to be buried with turtles too ^_^

Offline mrzurnaci

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Re: Ancient Assyrians buried their dead with turtles
« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2016, 06:20:13 PM »
huh, I always thought the idea of Turtles being long living creatures was a European idea/cultural idea.

I guess they inherited that from us as well.

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Re: Ancient Assyrians buried their dead with turtles
« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2016, 06:20:13 PM »

Offline Sharukinu

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Re: Ancient Assyrians buried their dead with turtles
« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2016, 07:24:54 PM »
huh, I always thought the idea of Turtles being long living creatures was a European idea/cultural idea.

I guess they inherited that from us as well.

Maybe all it was was that folks got hungry listening to the eulogy, ate a heap of turtles and decided to chuck their shells in while they were at it.

...or maybe these guys were a bunch of turtle thieves and were executed alongside the turtles that they devoured.
“It is pleasant, when the sea is high and the winds are dashing the waves about, to watch from the shores the struggles of another.”

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Offline Cascade

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Re: Ancient Assyrians buried their dead with turtles
« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2016, 07:56:20 PM »
Assyrians took the catchphrase "I like turtles" too literally, I guess.
It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change. - Charles Darwin

Offline AssyrianHistorian

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Re: Ancient Assyrians buried their dead with turtles
« Reply #5 on: March 31, 2016, 09:47:22 AM »
Neat! although they are pretty peaceful, I would hate to be buried with a turtle, whether I was alive or dead lol

 

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