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Dozens of Cat Mummies Discovered in Ancient Egyptian Tomb

It’s no secret that the ancient Egyptians held cats in the highest regard. Many of their deities were depicted with cat heads, such as Mafdet, Bastet and Sekhmet, representing justice, fertility, and power. They also mummified cats in the same way they would mummify their pharoahs. Just recently, archeologists discovered a tomb in the ancient city of Memphis and uncovered dozens of cat mummies, along with 100 wooden cat statues and a bronze bust of Bastet.

Egyptians were often buried with mummified animals and statues as a way to bring their pets with them to the afterlife. The artifacts found in this particular tomb are said to be around 6,000 years old.

Members of the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities tweeted several pictures of the finds:

 

 

Antonietta Catanzariti, a curator at the Smithsonian, said scientists have found hundreds of thousands of cat mummies over the years. The ancient Egyptians were drawn to felines’ hunting prowess and their ability to protect their young. She said the Egyptians saw those qualities as signs of divinity.

Along with the cats, researchers uncovered gilded statues depicting a lion, a cow, and a falcon. There were also wooden snakes and crocodiles and a handful of mummified scarab beetles.

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