Thanks to modern imaging equipment, archaeologists now have a wide range of new tools to help them uncover the secrets of the past. New undiscovered empty areas have been uncovered in the Pyramids of Giza thanks to devices which can ‘see’ the cosmic rays bouncing off of the insides of the pyramids, while unmanned aerial vehicles have led to the discovery of dozens of new unexplored and unknown ancient structures. Just this week, new research into image enhancement software has led to a breakthrough in ancient Egyptology. Researchers using a radical new imaging software called DStretch have discovered depictions of both bats and pigs in art found at an ancient Egyptian cemetery, some of the only known examples of these animals in all of ancient Egyptian archaeology.
One of the researchers behind the discovery, Linda Evans from Macquarie University in Sydney says these paintings from an ancient cemetery known as Beni Hassan are some of the first known depictions of pigs and bats in all known Egyptian artifacts:
The most surprising outcome of the DStretch study has been the confirmation of new images of animals that are incredibly rare in Egyptian art. There are virtually no depictions of pigs or bats in all of Egyptian art, but we can now confirm that they appear a number of times at Beni Hassan.
One of the images appears to depict men carrying pigs on their shoulders while even stranger, one of the images appears to show a group of people drowning a pig in a cistern or well. It’s unknown if this was related to food production or if it might represent some unknown practice or ritual.
Researchers also uncovered an unexplained image of a vulture with an ankh it its claws, an image usually only associated with royal tombs. Just why such an image turned up in the tomb of a commoner remains a mystery. Even now after centuries of research, archaeologists keep discovering how little we really know about ancient Egypt. Who knows what knowledge has been lost to history due to the ravages of time?