Photo: Ancient Semitic Snake Spells Deciphered in Egyptian Pyramid



Archaeologists say they have finally deciphered a set of mysterious passages from the pyramid of King Unas, a crumbling monument near the Step Pyramid of Djoser (left) in Saqqara, Egypt.

The passages, which contain spells for repelling snakes, are written not in Egyptian but in a Semitic text closely resembling the language of the Bible's Old Testament. The text shows that the proud Egyptians turned to their neighbors for assistance in matters of magic and sorcery, experts say.

Photograph by Kenneth Garrett/National Geographic/Getty Images


NEWS FEEDS    After installing a news reader, click on this icon to download National Geographic News's XML/RSS feed. After installing a news reader, click on this icon to download National Geographic News's XML/RSS feed.

Get our news delivered directly to your desktop—free.
How to Use XML or RSS

ADVERTISEMENT

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC'S PHOTO OF THE DAY

50 Drives of a Lifetime

Listen to your favorite National Geographic news daily, anytime, anywhere from your mobile phone. No wires or syncing. Download Stitcher free today.