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

Venice: Veronica Franco: the most talked-about woman in the Serenissima

Big Names

Among the various Venetian female figures of the past, certainly one of the most interesting and, for many reasons also modern, was Ver...


Venice: 10 songs that will make you think of Venice

Did you know that...

Sometimes we hear the first few lines of a song and our minds are suddenly transported back to a place, a memory or a dream. We put tog...


Padua: Vò Euganeo: a place to be discovered

Unknown places & works

In the last few months there has been much talking around the small town of Vò, in the province of Padua. It was at the center of ever...


Venice: 10 must-see movies filmed in Venice

Film Locations

Venice is unique amongst world cities and every year it turns into a dream-like experience for scores of tourists thanks to its timeles...


Top posts

Chioggia: The Valley of the Seven Dead Men

Mysteries & Legends

Halloween is just around the corner: have you already got into the fascinating terrifying aura of the scariest party of the year? No ye...


Venice: The stone heart of St Mark’s Basilica

Unknown places & works

If you are visiting St Mark’s Basilica and have just abandoned the wonderful vision of the Pala d'Oro (which is a must-see), just a f...


Venice: Map of Venice, what to know before you leave

Did you know that...

Did you know that Venice is not a single large island but rather a collection of 117 small islands linked together by over 400 bridges?...


Venice: The origins of the Spritz cocktail

Local Traditions

Spritz, the typical Venetian aperitif, has nowadays become the iconic cocktail of Happy hour not only in Italy, but all over the world....