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

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