Scary archeology: Pits full of nothing but large to very large severed hands found in Egypt

While excavating a 3,600-year-old palace in the once-great city of Avaris, Egypt, a team of archaeologists unearthed four pits. What’s in the pits? It’s hands. No bodies – just a bunch of dismembered hands. Most of the hands are quite large and some of them are very large, further signifying that they were all taken from adult males, and possibly that ancient Egypt was full of giants.

Thousands of severed large hands found in palace in Egypt
Thousands of severed large hands found in palace in Egypt. via ArcheologyNews

These 4 ancient hand recycling bins were found in the palace of King Khayan of the Hyksos, a West Asian people who once ruled over part of Northern Egypt – 2 in an outer portion of the palace and 2 just outside the throne room, indicating some ceremonial importance.

So, like, what the hell?

Actually, these large to very large hands are the very first physical evidence archaeologists have found of a practice that’s widely represented in ancient Egyptian art.

Thousands of severed large hands found in palace in Egypt
Hands of giants found buried in pits in ancient Egyptian palace. via ArcheologyNews

Soldiers would lop off the right hands of their enemies and present them to their leaders, who would ceremoniously toss the hands into a pit and then unceremoniously toss each soldier a wealth of gold in exchange.

Thousands of severed large hands found in palace in Egypt
The mystery of severe large hands in ancient Egypt. via ArcheologyNews

By taking the right hand, you were symbolically stealing the source of your enemy’s power and literally stealing 50 percent of his ability to flip you off.

Thousands of severed large hands found in palace in Egypt
This image was created about 400 years after the Avaris hands were deposited. It shows the chopped-off hands of enemy soldiers being prepared for Ramses III, a pharaoh of Egypt, after a successful campaign. via ArcheologyNews

So were soldiers large to very large men, some sorts of GIANTS? That’s interesting and appropriately brutal and all.

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