Mystery Function of Acient Saqqara Bird

saqqara bird

In 1898, when archaeologists dug in a Pa-di-Imen grave in Saqqara, Egypt, they discovered a mysterious object similar to planes and birds. This object is known to be made of sycamore wood estimated to have existed since 200 years BC. This artifact is named after the Saqqara bird with a characteristic wingspan of 18 cm and weighs 39.12 g. Not yet known exactly whether the function of this object due to lack of past documentation. Many speculations state that this object is evidence of the sophistication of Egyptian citizens who are familiar with aircraft technology.

On the body of a bird made of wood, there is a hieroglyphic inscription "Tribute to Ammon". Ammon is the Egyptian wind god. More than that, three papyri found with the words "I want to fly" repeatedly. Now, the Saqqara bird is stored in the Antiques Museum in Cairo, Egypt.

Although many people think this bird is a toy of the nobles, some experts estimate the bird is a miniature aircraft. There are also those who argue that such birds represent Horus, the god of heaven. Or Ra, the sun god. While some others thought the bird functioned as a wind direction. Other speculations, call it like a boomerang or a weapon to catch water birds. Some say the wooden bird was placed on the sacred ship's mast when the Opet Festival. Artifacts such a ship was indeed found at the excavation of the Khonsu Temple, Karnak, Egypt.

Dr. Khalil Messiha - a specialist who researched the Saqqara bird - issued the theory that the ancestors of the Egyptians at that time were optimizing their first airplane models. He instead believes that such birds can be applied as paragliding if there are wings in the tail component. But the Saqqara bird has no wings, which are then thought to have vanished.

According to Messiha, the Saqqara bird has sophisticated aerodynamic characteristics, such as the strength of a modern backer that gives little power to be consistent in the sky. The format of the wings which is known as dihedral wings can survive quite high in the air. A similar design has been applied to the Concorde Airplane design. Messiha also refers to the traditions of the Egyptians to create a miniature of their technology and stored in the tomb.


To signify that the theory of Egyptian ancestors had dominated advanced flight technology, Messiha made a replica of the Saqqara bird by adding a tail. Evidently, a replica of such a thing can fly. Then in 2002, Martin Gregorie, a paragliding designer, made a replica of a traditional wooden Saqqara bird. Unfortunately, the end is disappointing. According to Gregorie, the Saqqara bird is unstable without a tail. Even after adding the tails even birds that cannot fly, he even concluded that the Saqqara bird might have been created for the toys of little ones or wind blades.

In 2006, Simon Sanderson, who was an aviation and aerodynamic specialist, tried to make a Saqqara bird replica from Balsa wood and conducted the same test carried out on the example of a modern fighter plane. As a result, Saqqara birds can fly well. All evidence regarding this aviation technology is challenged by some archeologists. According to the excavation evidence, there has never been even one aircraft-shaped artifact in Egypt that showed any direction towards such technology.

Another thing that makes Messiha confident of the notion that aviation technology was already known by the ancestors of Egypt is the form of the Saqqara bird is different from other sculptures commonly found and now stored in the Museum. Saqqara bird has a counterweight and the form of a straight wing like that found in an airplane. Saqqara birds also don't have legs. While the desired component of the tail to be a counterweight is vanished because there is a mark as if something is attached behind it.

Other experts also found no evidence that the Saqqara bird was an indication of the direction of the wind because there were no holes to hang the birds. The only hole in the body component is the hole created by the museum to plant the Saqqara bird in a display box. So, what is the function and purpose of the artifact is still mysterious.

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