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  • [whoosh]

  • [music playing]

  • NARRATOR: 40 miles south, near Aswan,

  • at the ancient necropolis of Qubbet El-Hawa, professor

  • Alejandro Jimenez-Serrano heads one

  • of the largest foreign teams working in Egypt today.

  • ALEJANDRO JIMENEZ-SERRANO: During the last 11 years,

  • we have been excavating this huge complex

  • of tombs where the governors of the 12th dynasty were buried.

  • NARRATOR: These burial chambers were built for the nobles

  • governing southern Egypt, 500 years

  • after the Sphinx was built.

  • ALEJANDRO JIMENEZ-SERRANO: We will see what we will find.

  • You never know what is going to happen

  • today, for what we will find or which surprise we will have.

  • [music playing]

  • NARRATOR: Close to a cliff side, the team reports

  • a skull emerging from the sand.

  • [indistinct chatter]

  • Followed by a second.

  • [indistinct chatter]

  • The huge jaws include some teeth two inches long.

  • RAQUEL RODRIGUEZ: At first, we can only see this head only.

  • We were like, wow, a crocodile, a crocodile!

  • And then something appeared here.

  • And we were, like, oh, my God, there are two crocodiles!

  • NARRATOR: The crocodiles are an especially lucky

  • find for Raquel Rodriguez.

  • It's her first ever dig in Egypt.

  • RAQUEL RODRIGUEZ: I ask, oh, this is something common?

  • And they were like, no, no, no.

  • This is the first crocodile that we've seen in 11 years.

  • So I'm very happy about it.

  • NARRATOR: The crocodiles may be close to the river Nile,

  • but this is not a natural nest.

  • The bones have black marks, the remains of skin and flesh.

  • They are so well-preserved, Alejandro thinks

  • they must have been mummified.

  • ALEJANDRO JIMENEZ-SERRANO: It's a challenge to explain why

  • the crocodiles were mummified.

  • NARRATOR: Mummified crocodiles are an unusual

  • find and have only ever been unearthed at a small number

  • of sites in Egypt.

  • They could be a sign of a rare form of animal worship.

  • As the team slowly unearths more skeletons,

  • they count 11 in total.

  • And they're deteriorating, all except one.

  • ALEJANDRO JIMENEZ-SERRANO: Unfortunately, they

  • are not in a good of state of preservation.

  • But this one, it is almost perfect.

  • NARRATOR: The intact crocodile is extremely fragile.

  • They can't risk damaging it.

  • Before they attempt to move it, they carefully extract

  • the surrounding bone fragments.

  • In the midday sun, the temperature is over 90 degrees

  • Fahrenheit.

  • It's hot and smelly work.

  • RAQUEL RODRIGUEZ: They say that smell grows.

  • I'm not smelling anything because I've got a cold,

  • but they say it smells bad.

  • NARRATOR: Now the crocodile is exposed to the air and sun,

  • it's rotting fast.

  • Alejandro has to get it out of here.

[whoosh]

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Mummified Crocodiles | Lost Treasures of Egypt

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    林宜悉 posted on 2020/11/15
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