Lost Army of King Cambyses II Found

mass-grave-278x225.widecOnce again, as a military history buff, I find this incredibly cool. Archeologists may have solved one of the great mysteries of military history: the lost army of Persian King Cambyses II. Loss 2,500 years ago, it is believed to have been found — or what is left of it — by Italian researchers in the western Egyptian desert.

The researchers found hundreds of bleached white bones, bronze weapons, a silver bracelet, and other artifacts. They believe that 50,000 warriors were buried by a massive sandstorm in 525 B.C.

200px-Archers_frieze_Darius_palace_Louvre_AOD487The only account of the disaster comes from the Greek historian Herodotus (484-425 B.C.) who wrote “A wind arose from the south, strong and deadly, bringing with it vast columns of whirling sand, which entirely covered up the troops and caused them wholly to disappear.”

Cambyses, the son of Cyrus the Great, sent 50,000 soldiers from Thebes to attack the Oasis of Siwa and destroy the oracle at the Temple of Amun. He was peeved when they refused to legitimize his claim to Egypt. It must have been viewed as divine intervention given the mission of the Lost Army.

Twin brothers Angelo and Alfredo Castiglioni are already famous for their discovery of the Berenike Panchrysos — the ancient Egyptian “city of gold.”

For the full story, click here.

9 thoughts on “Lost Army of King Cambyses II Found”

  1. Herodotus is hardly considered an “unproven” ancient writer. His History is considered a reliable telling of the Peloponnesian War, and his writings have been used by many archaeologist in placing of events both in time and place.

  2. “A wind arose from the south, strong and deadly, bringing with it vast columns of whirling sand …”

    ***********

    This struck me as a fairly apt description of brash, blustering, obfuscating, and late North Carolina Sen Jesse Helms, but who am I to judge a strong southerly wind?

  3. Orthodox archaeology is ruled by a “show us the bones, ruins and artifacts” mentality that would discount Herodotus account as being the tall tales of a primitive and ruins the real romance of the profession. In truth this is done to defend their own academic turf and theories. I love it when another “unproven” ancient writer’s words are proven. Had I been more insightful at age 18 I would have gone into archaeology, but alas followed my father’s wishes and pursued a legal career, which as I’ve admitted didn’t turn out that well.

  4. Flipkid,

    Good one or one(s). I guess its kind of like I just don’t care enough to have apathy…..

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