the sheer quantity of mummified ibises
November 14, 2019 11:04 AM   Subscribe

Experts crack mystery of ancient Egypt’s sacred bird mummies : DNA analysis helps work out origin of nearly 6 million mummified ibises [The Guardian]
posted by readinghippo (12 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
Meanwhile, Australians with bated breath to find out if last year's runner up, the noble bin chicken sacred ibis will win bird of the year despite attempts by rainbow lorikeet, cockatoo, and black-throated finch partisans to rig the vote.
posted by zamboni at 12:53 PM on November 14, 2019 [4 favorites]

Ibises? Ibi? Ibii?

"I work in acquisitions for the bird sanctuary."

"You buy ibi?"

"Aye, I buy ibi."
posted by ricochet biscuit at 1:02 PM on November 14, 2019 [21 favorites]

Ok time I bis this / catch me wild I’m a carcass
Front your god with a fake one / look what happened to Akhenaten
Four million down here this is / the total mystery of the wild ibis
That’s right we bis this / study our fucks because we mean this
I- I- I- I- bis
I- I- I- bis
Bury us deep you can’t afford this
posted by bigbigdog at 1:29 PM on November 14, 2019 [15 favorites]

There's an amusing account of the discovery of the ibises in John Ray's Reflections of Osiris: Lives from Ancient Egypt:
Beginning in the middle of the 1960s, the Egypt Exploration Society of London explored the plateau of Saqqara, looking for the tomb of Imhotep. These excavations were led by W.B. Emery, who was hoping to crown a highly successful career as an Egyptologist by discovering the father of architecture. Even scholars who are drawn to this sort of thing can sympathise with Emery's exasperation on finding two million mummified ibises, several hundred thousand falcons, and the powdered remains of hundreds of baboons.
(Or to misquote Hugo Dyson's remark to J.R.R. Tolkien: 'oh god, not another fucking ibis'.)
posted by verstegan at 1:42 PM on November 14, 2019 [14 favorites]

Now you can pick up your very own mummified ibis at Hobby Lobby for the low low price of $4.99
posted by captain afab at 1:50 PM on November 14, 2019 [8 favorites]

MetaFilter : the powdered remains of hundreds of baboons.
posted by w0mbat at 2:28 PM on November 14, 2019 [6 favorites]

This had to be as bad for the bird population as the fad for egret feathers on women's hats.

Egrets? I've had a few.
posted by Bee'sWing at 3:12 PM on November 14, 2019 [14 favorites]

For an embarassingly long time, I thought that "My Way" was a Sid Vicious original. Now I know that it was originally performed by Hor of Sebennytos.
posted by 256 at 4:09 PM on November 14, 2019 [3 favorites]

ibises on the my deck have a 360° ring mount.
posted by clavdivs at 4:59 PM on November 14, 2019

This is very cool, thank you for posting it. What a world we live in, on both the ancient and modern ends of this story.
posted by LobsterMitten at 6:59 PM on November 14, 2019

Interesting (but no excuse for Egyptians) sacred ibis are invasive species in several countries and are threatening native wildlife in Spain, Italy, France, and the Canary Islands. "Sacred ibises are native and abundant in sub-Saharan Africa and southeast Iraq. There are introduced populations in Spain, Italy, France, and the Canary Islands from individuals that escaped from captivity and began breeding successfully." "They have become a conservation problem in Europe, where they have been reported feeding on threatened native species as well as encroaching on the habitats of native species. This has become a concern for European conservationists trying to protect native threatened species."
posted by RuvaBlue at 11:56 PM on November 14, 2019

That’s a lot of bin chickens.
posted by tinlids at 12:10 AM on November 15, 2019

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