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Animals from tumuli in El-Detti, Sudan: From bone remains to studying ritual

Urszula Iwaszczuk


Excavation of seven tumuli during the 2015 season in a cemetery of Early Makurian date located in the village of el-Detti yielded an extensive animal bone assemblage, altogether 590 bone fragments, accompanying the other finds. Poor preservation resulted in some 10% of the bones not being identified to species. Bone remains were located likewise in chambers, shafts, tunnels and looters’ trenches. They represented the following species: cattle, ovicaprines and dog. Marks recorded on the bones confirmed that the cuts of meat from cattle and ovicaprines were served as food offerings for the dead. The dog bones were probably connected to some form of ritual performed during the funeral.


animal bones, Early Makuria, el-Detti, offering deposits


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