Ancient Tombs in Sudan

Evil Eye Box and Other Treasures Found in Ancient Tombs on the Shores of the Nile

(Read the article on one page)

Archaeologists have discovered a number of elaborate underground tombs containing precious artifacts in a 2,000-year-old cemetery on the shores of the Nile River in Sudan,  according to a report in Live Science . The grave goods include a richly decorated faience box with large eyes painted on the front, which researchers believe was designed to protect against the evil eye.

The cemetery was first found by villages near the modern-day town of Dangeil in Sudan, and researchers from the Berber-Abidiya Archaeological Project have been carrying out excavations at the site ever since.

The burial site dates back to a period in which the kingdom of Kush reigned over the region. Established after the Bronze Age collapse and the disintegration of the New Kingdom of Egypt, the Kush kingdom controlled a vast territory, whose northern border stretched to Roman-controlled Egypt. Like the Egyptians, the Kushites had a widespread belief in the afterlife and so buried the deceased with a number of goods that were intended to serve them after death.

A number of such goods have emerged from the excavations including several large jars that originally contained beer made of sorghum, which was to provide sustenance in the afterlife, a ‘party tray’, which consists of seven bowls attached together, and a silver engraved ring that depicts a horned deity. Scholars believe that the deity is the god Amun who, in the kingdom of Kush, was often shown with a ram’s head.  The Kushites shared some of the same gods worshiped in Egypt, especially Amun and Isis. With the worshiping of these gods the Kushites began to take some of the names of the gods as their throne names.

The silver ring depicting a horned-deity wearing a crown

The silver ring depicting a horned-deity wearing a crown. Credit: The British Museum

One of the most significant treasures is the faience box decorated with udjat eyes. The Udjat Eye, or Eye of Horus, is an ancient Egyptian symbol of protection, royal power and good health, a tradition that was also adopted by the Kushites.  Funerary amulets were often made in the shape of the Eye of Horus in order to protect the deceased in the afterlife and ward off evil. Sailors would frequently paint the symbol on the bow of their vessel to ensure safe sea travel.

The shape and the eyebrow derive from a human eye, while the lines underneath correspond to the markings of a falcon's eye. As the Eye of Horus it was originally the lunar eye, or the left eye of the sky god, but most amulets depict the right eye, originally the solar eye. This was partly due to the Egyptians' association of right with good and positive things. It was less common to depict both eyes together, as seen on the faience box.

The faience box discovered in a 2,000-year-old Kurshite tomb

The faience box discovered in a 2,000-year-old Kurshite tomb. Credit: Berber-Abidiya Archaeological Project

By April Holloway

Comments

angieblackmon's picture

i can honestly say i've never noticed the right/left facing of the eye symbol. i didn't realize they had different meanings! love learning new things! :)

love, light and blessings

AB

rbflooringinstall's picture

that ring is pretty cool.

Peace and Love,

Ricky.

Register to become part of our active community, get updates, receive a monthly newsletter, and enjoy the benefits and rewards of our member point system OR just post your comment below as a Guest.

Top New Stories

Rice goddesses are found across cultures
For centuries, rice has been a staple diet and plays an important role in Asian culture. Although rice farmers have found their lives becoming more difficult due to climate change, Bloomberg states in 2016 that 16 million people still farm rice in Thailand alone. Commemorating the beginning of the rice growing season with an annual Royal Plowing Ceremony

Human Origins

Map of sites and postulated migratory pathways associated with modern humans dispersing across Asia during the Late Pleistocene.
Most people are now familiar with the traditional "Out of Africa" model: modern humans evolved in Africa and then dispersed across Asia and reached Australia in a single wave about 60,000 years ago. However, technological advances in DNA analysis and other fossil identification techniques, as well as an emphasis on multidisciplinary research

Ancient Technology

Detail of a star chart dating to the Middle Kingdom.
The calendar is one of mankind’s most important inventions. Calendars allowed societies to organize time for religious, social, economic, and administrative purposes. The calendar, or rather, two sets of calendars, were invented by the ancient Egyptians. One of these was a lunar calendar, which was used mainly for the organization of religious festivals.

Ancient Places

Smuts house
The farmstead of General Jan Smuts on the outskirts of Pretoria, is reputed to be one of the most haunted private homes in the country, according to Mr Mark Rose-Christie, raconteur and social scientist, who regularly takes brave visitors on a tour of haunted sites on his mystery ghost bus.

Our Mission

At Ancient Origins, we believe that one of the most important fields of knowledge we can pursue as human beings is our beginnings. And while some people may seem content with the story as it stands, our view is that there exists countless mysteries, scientific anomalies and surprising artifacts that have yet to be discovered and explained.

The goal of Ancient Origins is to highlight recent archaeological discoveries, peer-reviewed academic research and evidence, as well as offering alternative viewpoints and explanations of science, archaeology, mythology, religion and history around the globe.

We’re the only Pop Archaeology site combining scientific research with out-of-the-box perspectives.

By bringing together top experts and authors, this archaeology website explores lost civilizations, examines sacred writings, tours ancient places, investigates ancient discoveries and questions mysterious happenings. Our open community is dedicated to digging into the origins of our species on planet earth, and question wherever the discoveries might take us. We seek to retell the story of our beginnings. 

Ancient Image Galleries

View from the Castle Gate (Burgtor). (Public Domain)
Door surrounded by roots of Tetrameles nudiflora in the Khmer temple of Ta Phrom, Angkor temple complex, located today in Cambodia. (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Cable car in the Xihai (West Sea) Grand Canyon (CC BY-SA 4.0)
Next article