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Mummy was carefully wrapped in resinated bandage, the crossing bands created a geometrical pattern. The upper part was formed to resemble the head of a cat with all details being marked on it. X-ray made of the mummy have revealed no mummified remains under the bandages; inside are bones of an animal. In order to provide stiffness the cat's skeleton was stiffed by a stick.
Animals were mummified in Egypt for different reasons. A haunch from an ox or some other animal, dipped in salt and wrapped in bandages, was put in a wooden coffin of appropriate shape to serve as food for the deceased in the Netherworld. Mummified pets – monkeys, dogs, even gazelles and ducks – were placed inside the funerary chamber, sometimes inside the coffin with their dead owner.

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Mummy was carefully wrapped in resinated bandage, the crossing bands created a geometrical pattern. The upper part was formed to resemble the head of a cat with all details being marked on it. X-ray made of the mummy have revealed no mummified remains under the bandages; inside are bones of an animal. In order to provide stiffness the cat's skeleton was stiffed by a stick.
Animals were mummified in Egypt for different reasons. A haunch from an ox or some other animal, dipped in salt and wrapped in bandages, was put in a wooden coffin of appropriate shape to serve as food for the deceased in the Netherworld. Mummified pets – monkeys, dogs, even gazelles and ducks – were placed inside the funerary chamber, sometimes inside the coffin with their dead owner.
A very important role was played by the worship of animals, restricted to chosen individuals, in which lived the soul of the deity. Each time the new animal was chosen on the basis of special, strictly defined physical characteristics. The biggest significance was attached to the cult of the bull Apis in Memphis; its beginnings go back to the First Dynasty and, according to Christian sources, it lasted into the 4th century A.D. A huge cemetery of mummified bulls exists in the Memphite necropolis at Saqquara. In the Late Period and Ptolemaic-Roman times animal mummies started being produced on a mass sale as votive offerings to the gods by devout pilgrims. The famous catacombs at Tuna el-Gebel contained the mummies of baboons and ibises, animals devoted to Thot. Mummies of cats, considered as embodiments of the goddess Bastet, were sacrifices in the center of her worship in Bubastis. In 19th century cat mummies were shipped to England in great numbers to fertilize arable soils.

Elaborated by Krzysztof Babraj (Archaeological Museum in Kraków), editorial team of Małopolska’s Virtual Museums, © all rights reserved

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