Archaeologists In Egypt Discovered 1,900-Year-Old Handwritten Letters Within The Graves Of An Ancient Roman Pet Cemetery

AlexAnton - - illustrative purposes only

At an ancient Roman pet cemetery in Egypt, a team of archaeologists has found 1,900-year-old handwritten letters within its graves.

The cemetery is located at a Red Sea port in southern Egypt called Berenike, and it dates back to the first and second centuries. The port was built by the Roman emperor Tiberius.

The cemetery was first discovered in 2011. Since then, the remains of more than 200 cats, dogs, and exotic monkeys have been unearthed, along with Roman coins and ceramics.

Now, archaeologists have stumbled upon several letters written by military officers who were in charge of units of Roman legions. The letters were written on papyrus, a material that was used in ancient times as a writing surface.

According to experts from the University of Wrocław in Poland, the letters are from the era of Emperor Nero, who ruled during the mid-first century and had a reputation for being cruel.

At the time of his rule, Berenike was a major trading center, and now archaeologists know for certain that it was also home to a unit of the Roman military.

The letters contain the names of several Roman centurions—Haosus, Lucinius, and Petronius.

In one of the letters, Petronius asked Lucinius about the prices of some exclusive goods at Berenike and stated that he would send over money with a unit of Roman soldiers traveling on camels. He also instructed Lucinius to give the soldiers tentpoles and veal.

It is believed that the ancient Romans kept the papyri in an office nearby. However, it was likely destroyed later on, and its contents ended up scattered over the pet cemetery.

AlexAnton – – illustrative purposes only

Sign up for Chip Chick’s newsletter and get stories like this delivered to your inbox.

1 of 2