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Big Bad Voodoo

Eight million dog mummies found in Saqqara

58 posts in this topic

One more salute to the Egyptian Civilization..No other civilization can even stand to it's knee...

Whatever they did, they did in such a grand scale!!!...They must be more organized and focused society than we imagine or assume..Mummifying 8 million dogs will be a task of huge effort..Financially it may not be possible in the current volatile market, even if the task spans for hundreds of years!

it will be interesting to know their daily time management! :yes:

The Egyptians would have broken all records of Guinness Book, if they were here today!

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If so, then they spent much more time for mummifaction then I calculated in post 3.

Ofcourse we can imagine that whey wrapped more dogs at same time, but still. how many Egyptians have had population at that time?

These dogs must have been warpped while Africa was still green, imo.

If and that's a big if, the amount of dog mummies is correct, then what makes you say that this has happened in one go? I think we are talking a long period rather than a short one.

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If and that's a big if, the amount of dog mummies is correct, then what makes you say that this has happened in one go? I think we are talking a long period rather than a short one.

Long period for sure. Im trying to fit 8 million dogs into main stream view on AE. From 3100 to Augustus. But I suspect that dogs were mummifed long before 4th millenium because seems unbelievible that they wrapped 8 million dogs in that short period.

Edited by the L
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Was the process of mummification (rituals, etc) the same/similar for animals as it was for humans?... Did each dog get it's own set of canopic jars for example?...

Perhaps in addition to occuring over a vast period of time, it also took less time to do each one...

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Think they did it assembly line style.

Sold them in markets as prayer mummies.

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I wonder how many time they spent to make one mummy?

This is a really pertinent question...it goes to the heart of the claim

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Step right up, gather in close .. here for you today we offer these prayer mummies...they will carry your greatest wishes and desires straight to the gods. The larger the mummy the bigger the prayer.

How about they gave them away as prizes at the carnival !

Knock over three pins and get one of these spectacular prayer mummies.

Of course they have the biggest dog mummies out on display but you start out with a hampster mummy do it again and trade up to rat mummy then maybe a mongoose .

Imagine carrying those around the fair.... :D

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To address some questions and points posters recently brought up, the ideal period of mummification for a human lasted around 70 days: 40 for drying and 30 for wrapping. I stress "ideal" because, arguably, most people who were mummified did not undergo such a lengthy process. The "ideal" represented matters pertaining especially to royals and nobles, so there's an obvious distinction. Something between 35 to 40 days of drying in the natron salts probably was optimal for proper desiccation, but few people would've undergone a full month of wrapping.

The same basic scheme was applied to animals, but almost certainly in a much simplified form. Most votive animal mummies are poorly preserved to begin with, which shows their mummifications were not elaborate. The exception would be key cultic animals like the Apis bull, but most animals which underwent mummification (e.g., falcons, cats, ibises, vultures, baboons, geese, crocodiles, gazelles, fish, shrews, snakes, dung beetles) were part of something akin to an assembly line and were often sloppily prepared for burial. This is why in many animal mummies which have been X-rayed or CT scanned, there might be not much more than a bone or two, or nothing but mud and stuffing. It could've been the temple priests scamming people, or something as simple as problems with supply and demand.

The bottom line is, very few animals would've undergone anything close to 70 days of embalming. Many were probably buried in salt for a time and then wrapped for burial. I have seen some remarkably well preserved animal mummies, but most don't fit that description. Bear in mind that these were not beloved pets but simply votive offerings. For example, you as a temple visitor might pay to have a cat mummified in honor of the goddess Bastet. The priests kept such animals for the purpose. They would kill it, mummify it to whatever degree, then bury it in an animal cemetery (often in the form of catacombs). The belief was, the animal's soul would transcend to the deity for whom it was sacrificed, and bring your prayers with it.

Finally, on matters of the length of time during which this cultic activity took place, it was almost exclusively in the latest periods of pharaonic history. We do see animal burials from much older times, but these appear to have been geared toward the prestige of rulers, so it's not the same thing. The overall evidence demonstrates that votive animal mummifications began to flourish in the Late Period, so let's say around 700 BCE. They were common from that point into the Roman Period. Altogether, then, we're seeing around 600 years of votive animal mummies. The dogs at Saqqara would've belonged to this span of time.

They were not mummified all at the same time. I'm still skeptical about "eight million" dog mummies, but whatever the number, the total number of dog mummies certainly would've represented several centuries of the practice.

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So I was right in a way.

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The thing to remember about chihuahuas is that if you weighed three pounds and were bred to be eaten, you'd probably be pretty neurotic, too.

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I'm still skeptical about "eight million" dog mummies...

Why you skeptical about it? Its estimation.

What if happens to be true? Or more?

Edited by the L

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Why you skeptical about it? Its estimation.

What if happens to be true? Or more?

It just seems like a hell of a lot. Dog mummies are not as common as other animal mummies.

The figure itself doesn't mean much of anything.

Editing to add: That is, the figure doesn't mean much of anything aside from perhaps a more robust cult for Anubis than previously thought.

Edited by kmt_sesh

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There were actual 'businesses' that bred dogs and cats for this very purpose. There's a common misconception that animals such as cats were worshiped as gods. In the same region (if I remember correctly) There was a field discovered about 100 years ago where there were thousands of cat mummies sacrificed to the goddess Bastet. Most were turned into mulch by local farmers but from what they did manage to save, they found that may of the mummies were barely older than a few weeks and had died violent deaths.

These businesses would operate outside of temples and sell pre-enbalmed mummies to common people looking to make a sacrifice. Sometimes there wasn't even a cat inside but chicken bones and what seemed to be the remains of someones' dinner.

There was probably no real ritual behind the mummification behind these animals and no canopic jars, they were simply just poor grade mummies. This is not to say animals didn't get the same treatment as humans. The Apus bull was considered a god and had a unique enbalming ritual, jars and all.

Cats and dogs were not considered gods, but they were commodities.

Thank you Bob Brier!

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only 8 million.. pfft

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8 Million? Wow that is over kill man. Who and why would someone or something make 8 Million of these things, and secondly, who actually counted them to confirm there are 8 Million? is it possible there are 7.999 Million or 8.2 Million? What are the odds of 8 Million exactly? This is all just way too mind boggling and totally incomprehensible. Why oh why would they do this? It's raining dogs over there!

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I think too many people are making a big deal of the 8 million number. I see it as an educated estimate. Maybe they missed by as much as 1 million. So the real number could be 7 or 9 million. That doesn't change my thoughts. Still allot of dogs.

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I think too many people are making a big deal of the 8 million number. I see it as an educated estimate. Maybe they missed by as much as 1 million. So the real number could be 7 or 9 million. That doesn't change my thoughts. Still allot of dogs.

I wonder do we know historicly what was population of dogs, like we estimate for humans.

Dogs are domesticated 9000 BC in Europe.(?) In 8000 BC world population was 5 million people. And we know that on one village we have two/three dogs.

In 3000 BC population was 30 millions.

By 500 BC there was 100 millions. Whole world.

I can grasp that in egypt from 3000 BC to 500 BC lived 8 millions dogs. Too much.

Edited by the L

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I wonder do we know historicly what was population of dogs, like we estimate for humans.

Dogs are domesticated 9000 BC in Europe.(?) In 8000 BC world population was 5 million people. And we know that on one village we have two/three dogs.

In 3000 BC population was 30 millions.

By 500 BC there was 100 millions. Whole world.

I can grasp that in egypt from 3000 BC to 500 BC lived 8 millions dogs. Too much.

In 3000 BCE there were probably around 800,000 people in the Nile Valley alone. Dogs would've been domesticated well before then, of course. Whether they had the status of "pets" that early is something that can be debated, but they would've been useful for hunting and for keeping scavengers at bay around the villages and settlements.

I have to stress again, however, that the mummified dogs described in the article do not date to 3000 BCE. On average few animals were mummified in earlier periods, aside from exclusive divine animals like the Apis bull. Most like the mummified dogs represent a stretch of time from around 750 BCE to the early centuries CE, when animal mummification was common in Egypt.

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I wonder how many time they spent to make one mummy?

You forgetting they where Egyptians, they could probably knock that lot out within a week or so :w00t:

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Wow, what a weird segment of their belief system, from our perspective anyway ? .." Can we afford a dog offering this week Aapep? " .. " Sorry Amunet, .. maybe a fish ok? "

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You forgetting they where Egyptians, they could probably knock that lot out within a week or so :w00t:

They always win on ancient contests and olympics. They were fastest and strongest.

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See [media=]

[/media]

and http://www.aucegypt....se.aspx?rid=337

and http://books.google....TcC&redir_esc=y

PS I have worked with Salima in the Western Desert in Egypt - see http://www.aucegypt....es/default.aspx

and http://news.national...rga/photo2.html

Horus appeared on her balcony and took mummies. :innocent:

Thanks for video. Im sure it was pleasure working with her. I hope after Kharga work you went somewhere nice like in Hurghada for deserving vaccation.

So can you solve mystery for us...In what period they wrapped 8 million dogs?

What else people say about this finding? Isnt 8 million huge number?

It would takes milleniums.

Edited by the L

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Can anyone confirm or deny a "fact" I read when I was young about so many bitumen-rich cat mummies being unearthed in 19th century Egypt that the British used them as fuel in their locomotives? I've since read something about this being debunked, an "urban myth" if you like, but cannot find any definitive source.

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Can anyone confirm or deny a "fact" I read when I was young about so many bitumen-rich cat mummies being unearthed in 19th century Egypt that the British used them as fuel in their locomotives? I've since read something about this being debunked, an "urban myth" if you like, but cannot find any definitive source.

I haven't quite heard that take on it in my studies, but something close. In the nineteenth century the Brits excavated the area of Bubastis, the cult center for the ancient cat goddess Bastet, and recovered many thousands of cat mummies. They filled a ship's ballast with the cat mummies, brought them back to the UK, and promptly ground most into mummy-dust to be used as fertilizer in gardens. Only a small percentage of the cat mummies survived for scientific research.

Alternatively, there is the yarn about using human mummies as fuel for locomotives. It comes from Mark Twain, the great American writer, who visited certain parts of the Middle East in the nineteenth century. In 1869 Twain published his book The Innocents Abroad, in which the mummy-fuel yarn was included. Twain writes:

The fuel use for the locomotive is composed of mummies three thousand years old, purchased by the ton or by the graveyard for that purpose, and . . . sometimes one hears the profane engineer call out pettishly, 'Damn these plebeians, they don't burn worth a cent—pass out a King!

Twain was famous for his ability to tell a story, but of course this was not real. I have no doubt that mummies burn quite well, but enough to fuel locomotives? Purchased by the ton? LOL Great story, but that's all it is.

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