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Within the Ottoman Empire, this form of execution continued into the 20th century.Impaling an individual along the body length has been documented in several cases, and the merchant Jean de Thevenot provides an eyewitness account of this, from 17th century Egypt, in the case of a Jewish man condemned to death for the use of false weights: They lay the Malefactor upon his Belly, with his Hands tied behind his Back, then they slit up his Fundament with a Razor, and throw into it a handful of Paste that they have in readiness, which immediately stops the Blood.For acts of perceived great sacrilege, some individuals, in diverse cultures, have been impaled for their effrontery.For example, roughly 1200 BC, merchants of Ugarit express deep concern to each other that a fellow citizen is to be impaled in the Phoenician town Sidon, due to some "great sin" committed against the patron deity of Sidon.After that they thrust up into his Body a very long Stake as big as a Mans Arm, sharp at the point and tapered, which they grease a little before; when they have driven it in with a Mallet, till it come out at his Breast, or at his Head or Shoulders, they lift him up, and plant this Stake very streight in the Ground, upon which they leave him so exposed for a day.
It is said that a scream was heard, and that the earth actually moved upwards for a moment, before all was over.
Evidence by carvings and statues is found as well, for example from Neo-Assyrian empire (c. The image of the impaled Judeans is a detail from the public commemoration of the Assyrian victory in 701 BC after the Siege of Lachish, rather than along the full body length.
For the Neo-Assyrians, mass executions seem to have been not only designed to instill terror and to enforce obedience, but also, it can seem, as proofs of their might that they took pride in.
Offenders have also been impaled for a variety of cultural, sexual and religious reasons.
References to impalement in Babylonia and the Neo-Assyrian Empire are found as early as the 18th century BC.