Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Mummified Cats

Two thousand years ago, an Egyptian purchased a mummified kitten from a breeder, to offer as a sacrifice to the goddess Bastet. Between about 332 B.C. and 30 B.C. in Egypt, cats were bred near temples specifically to be mummified and used as offerings.
The cat was wrapped as tightly as possible, and had been placed in a sitting position before mummification, similar to the seated cats depicted in hieroglyphics from the same era. To make the cat take up as little space as possible, the embalmers fractured some of the cat's bones, including a backbone at the base of the spine to position the tail as close to the body as possible, and ribs to make the front limbs sit closer to the body.
Household pets were commonly mummified and buried alongside their owners in ancient Egypt. Many were also preserved as sacred offerings to the gods, and an entire industry existed that is thought to have churned out more than 70 million animal mummies.