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The Owl in Phoenician Mortuary Practice

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image of Journal of Ancient Near Eastern Religions

Recent excavations in the Iron Age necropolis of Tyre (al-Bass district) allow a substantial reconstruction of the Phoenician ritual of cremation burial. Among the faunal remains from Tyre al-Bass Tomb 8 are two talons from a species of owl. The talons had been charred and perhaps boiled before placement with the grave goods. This paper examines ancient Near Eastern and biblical cultural interpretations of the owl and suggests a range of possible explanations for the presence of owl remains in this Phoenician burial.

Affiliations: 1: Eastern Michigan University

10.1163/156921209X449161
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/content/journals/10.1163/156921209x449161
2009-05-01
2016-12-04

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