Hidden treasures

The Priestess of the Crocodiles at the Natural History Museum in Venice

Unknown places & works

The Priestess of the Crocodiles at the Natural History Museum in Venice

In the Natural History Museum of Venice, between the skeletons of dinosaurs and stuffed animals, there is a room dedicated to Giovanni Miani, a Venetian explorer, who in  the mid-1800s tried to find the source of the Nile several times, but to no avail.

During one of his journeys he found a cave in which there were two crocodile mummies and a human, which turned out to be a woman.

Miani assumed it was one of the priestesses of crocodiles described by the famous Greek historian Herodotus (5h century B.C.). These women took care of these reptiles, which were sacred to the Sobek God, and when they died they were buried with them.

The priestess was in fact buried with two crocodiles, also mummified, and her face was covered by a golden mask. The most recent analysis carried out on the perfectly preserved skin tissue, revealed that the age of the burial of the Priestess and the two crocodiles dates back to the Ptolemaic age (3rd century B.C.).

By purchasing a ticket to the Natural History Museum in Venice you can see this curious triad and other fascinating collections kept inside!

By Insidecom Editorial Staff

Latest posts

Padua: Jacopo Marcello, the Captain who shouldn’t have died

Big Names

Ca’ Marcello in Piombino Dese, Italy is a beautiful eighteenth-century Venetian villa still inhabited today by the Marcello Counts, a...


Venice: What’s the traditional Redentore food?

Local Traditions

The number one traditional celebration, celebrated every year the third weekend of July, Redentore gives thanks for the end of the terr...


Venice: The village of Dolo and its inhabitants

Figures of speech

In the province of Venice there is a small village, Dolo, which doesn’t have a great reputation... The dialect expression ‘Ma te vi...


Venice: The crypt of the church of San Simeone Piccolo

Unknown places & works

As soon as you leave the train station in Venice, you will see the imposing dome of the church of San Simeone Piccolo, renovated in the...


Top posts

Padua: Prato della Valle in Padua

Historical Curiosities

Probably only the inhabitants of Padua and a few other people know of a particular record their city is boasting about: having the larg...


Treviso: Castelbrando in Cison di Valmarino

Unknown places & works

The province of Treviso offers its visitors many places steeped in history and imbued with charm ... One of these is definitely Castelb...


Venice: The tomb of Antonio Canova in the Frari Cathedral in Venice

Mysteries & Legends

When visiting the splendid Frari Cathedral in Venice a pyramid can be seen in front of the church… Why is such a ...


Venice: The Empress Sissi in Venice

Big Names

The Empress Sissi (1837-18989), the wife of Austria Emperor Francesco Giuseppe of Habsburg, has remained in the collective imagination ...