Circumcision in ancient Egypt

I’m tempted to start this post by saying “please don’t try this at home”!

On a recent trip to Cairo, I explored the tombs around the ancient necropolis of Saqqara.  Here on the walls are carved reliefs showing the ancient practice of male circumcision.

These date from the Sixth Dynasty, and are dated to approximately 2,400 BCE.

Herodotus, writing in the 5th century BCE, wrote that the Egyptians “practise circumcision for the sake of cleanliness, considering it better to be cleanly than comely.”  Some say circumcision in ancient Egypt was a mark of passage from childhood to adulthood.

There are stories about it being a ritual practice carried out by priests on young men, using a sharp stone.  It appears that upwards of one hundred young men might have had their foreskins removed in a kind of mass event.

Here is a small home video of the carving I found on a tomb wall at Saqqara.

Fiona Deal, Author of Meredith Pink’s Adventures in Egypt, fiction books all available on Amazon. To join Merry on her adventures please click on each picture for the link.

An image of the cover of the Fiona Deal book, Carter's Conundrums

Cover of  Carter’s Conundrums. Book 1 in the series, Meredith Pink’s adventures in Egypt.

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The cover of the Fiona Deal book, Tutankhamun’s Triumph. Book 2 in the series, Meredith Pink’s adventures in Egypt.

An image of the cover of the Fiona Deal book, Hatshepsut’s Hideaway.

The cover of the Fiona Deal book, Hatshepsut’s Hideaway. Book 3 in the series, Meredith Pink’s adventures in Egypt.

An image of the cover of the Fiona Deal book, Farouk’s Fancies.

The cover of the Fiona Deal book, Farouk’s Fancies. Book 4 in the series, Meredith Pink’s adventures in Egypt.

An image of the cover of the Fiona Deal book, Akhenaten’s Alibi.

The cover of the Fiona Deal book, Akhenaten’s Alibi. Book 5 in the series, Meredith Pink’s adventures in Egypt.

An image of the cover of the Fiona Deal book, Seti’s Secret.

The cover of the Fiona Deal book, Seti’s Secret. Book 6 in the series, Meredith Pink’s adventures in Egypt.

An image of the cover of the Fiona Deal book, Belzoni’s Bequest.

The cover of the Fiona Deal book, Belzoni’s Bequest. Book 7 in the series, Meredith Pink’s adventures in Egypt.

An image of the cover of the Fiona Deal book, Nefertari’s Narrative.

The cover of the Fiona Deal book, Nefertari’s Narrative. Book 8 in the series, Meredith Pink’s adventures in Egypt.

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The cover of the Fiona Deal book, Ramses’ Riches. Book 9 in the series, Meredith Pink’s adventures in Egypt.

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