In 1191BC the Egyptian Pharaoh Ramses III fought the Sea Peoples, a diverse ethnic group from around the Mediterranean who sought to invade Egypt. After one battle the Sea Peoples retreated leaving 12,500 dead and about a thousand prisoners. What was the unusual method used by the Egyptian victors to count the dead?

Answer: Each soldier cut off one hand (or genitals, if uncircumcised) of his victim and took them to the scribes responsible for the census and rewards.

Source: Forty Centuries – From the Pharaohs to Alfred the Great by S G F Brandon and Freidrich Heer

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