The Mystery of 3600-year-old Pits Full of Giant Hands Discovered in Egypt

A severed right hand discovered in front of a Hyksos palace at Avaris (modern-day Tell el-Daba). It would have been chopped off and presented to the king (or a subordinate) in exchange for gold. This discovery is the first archaeological evidence of the practice.

At the time they were buried, about 3,600 years ago, the palace was being used by King Khayan. The Hyksos were a people believed to be from northern Canaan, they controlled part of Egypt and made their capital at Avaris on the Nile Delta.

A gruesome discovery has been made by archaeologists during an excavation in a place within ancient Avaris, Egypt. The skeletons of 16 human hands, buried in four graves, have been unearthed.

Two of the graves, located in the front of the throne room, hold one hand each, while the others, located outside the palace, contain the 14 remaining hands.

The excavation team claimed that all the remains date back 3.6 millennia ago, believing that they were from the same ceremony.

They are all right hands, and there are no lefts, appearing to be strangely bigger and longer than usual, and were allocated into 4 different pits within what is believed to be the Hyksos complex.

Manfred Bietak, the Austrian archaeologist in charge of the excavation at the site, described that the hands are probable to be the first physical proof of the stories found in the writings and art of ancient Egypt, in which ancient soldiers chopped off the right hands of their foes for bounties.

This hand-removal practice did not only represent removing the power of the foes, but also contains spiritual meanings as it was conducted in a sacred place and temple, being part of a ritual.

Until now, there hasn’t been any proof of whom these hands belonged to, as scientists are yet to determine they were from Hyksos or Egyptians.

When archaeologists Bietak was questioned on his belief in the existence of this ritual, he said: “You deprive him of his power forever. Our finding is the first and only physical evidence. Each moat represents a different ceremony.”

It would not be a surprise to know that these rituals are performed in a land once invaded as part of a curse against the enemy force, as ancient Egyptians often prayed to their gods for the aid in fighting their foes, including punishments such as plagues, famine, or general misfortune.

A number of signs suggested that this was indeed some kind of divine sacrifices, though there is much room left for further investigation, and the hands being larger and longer than usual, as mentioned, might point out that they were from particularly selected people.

This discovery may shed light on the hypothesis of an advanced civilization of enormous dimensions, and the findings possibly reveal the true story behind what was previously deemed fables, or inventions, of conspiracy theorists.

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