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Archaeology & History

Jar of toads found in ancient Canaanite tomb

By T.K. Randall
September 26, 2017 · Comment icon 8 comments

The toads must have held some sort of ritualistic significance. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 Charlesjsharp
Archaeologists in Jerusalem have unearthed a 4,000-year-old tomb containing a jar of headless toads.
The unusual burial was discovered three years ago during excavations at a Bronze Age cemetery of 60 rock-cut tombs in Jerusalem's Manahat neighborhood.

The tomb itself, which was found sealed with a large stone across the opening, contained one poorly preserved skeleton along with a number of different ceramic jars and vessels.

One of these was found to contain the tiny bones of nine headless toads.

The discovery suggests that the toads had held some form of ritualistic significance, perhaps acting as a symbolic source of food for the deceased to aid in their passage to the afterlife.

"It is impossible to determine what role the toads played, but they are clearly part of the funerary rituals," said excavation director Shua Kisilevitz.

The fact that the toads had been decapitated, something that is typically done to prepare the animals for eating, seems to back up the idea that they were being offered up as food.

"Food offerings are a staple of burial customs during this period, and there is a possibility that the toads were indeed placed in the jar as such," said Kisilevitz.

Source: Live Science | Comments (8)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Buzz_Light_Year 7 years ago
So they were into toad licking.
Comment icon #2 Posted by EBE Hybrid 7 years ago
Ha, maybe someone took the toads to a really, really early Ozzy Osbourne gig, got wasted on toad licking then when they gave up on catching bats decided to throw the toads to Ozzy instead!!!
Comment icon #3 Posted by Ozymandias 7 years ago
Gives a whole new meaning to Toad in the Hole!
Comment icon #4 Posted by Ghost Orchid 7 years ago
The delicacies will fall through the ghost/spirits..
Comment icon #5 Posted by jbondo 7 years ago
I don't know about anyone else, but finding a jar of headless toads always brightens my day.
Comment icon #6 Posted by pallidin 7 years ago
First toads, then humans. My how we've evolved.
Comment icon #7 Posted by paperdyer 7 years ago
Where di they toads come from?  You don't think of Jerusalem as a place where toads abound.  At least I don't.
Comment icon #8 Posted by EBE Hybrid 7 years ago
Giorgios Tsouklas would say that aliens put them there

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