Sunday, May 19, 2013

DAKHLA OASIS: Cemetery Reveals Baby-Making Season in Ancient Egypt


Researchers made this discovery at a cemetery in the Dakhla Oasis in Egypt whose burials date back around 1,800 years. The oasis is located about 450 miles (720 kilometers) southwest of Cairo. The people buried in the cemetery lived in the ancient town of Kellis, with a population of at least several thousand. These people lived at a time when the Roman Empire controlled Egypt, when Christianity was spreading but also when traditional Egyptian religious beliefs were still strong.

So far, researchers have uncovered 765 graves, including the remains of 124 individuals that date to between 18 weeks and 45 weeks after conception. The excellent preservation let researchers date the age of the remains at death. The researchers could also pinpoint month of death, as the graves were oriented toward the rising sun, something that changes predictably throughout the year.

Conception didn't peak in summer months for other ancient Mediterranean cultures, Williams noted; the hot weather is thought to have lowered sexual libido and possibly sperm. 

In ancient Egypt, however, the new findings indicate that at Kellis conceptions increased by more than 20 percent above the site's annual average. A summer baby-making boon in ancient Egypt may have been due to traditional beliefs regarding fertility and the Nile flood. The people who lived at the Dakhla Oasis in ancient times believed that the Nile River was the source of their water and that the flooding of the Nile, which takes place in the summer, was key to the fertility of their land. 
Written by Owen Jarues Click Here

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