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Egypt's Mysterious Animal Mummies


She-ra

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The Egyptians are known for their human mummies, but they mummified a host of different animals, including cats, birds, crocodiles, and other animals. A team of scientistsicon1.png X-rayed hundreds of Egyptian animal mummies housed in museums throughout England, to get at the artifacts' insides without damaging them.

Read more here: http://www.livescience.com/50798-animal-mummy-gallery.html

Additional Article

When a team of scientists scanned hundreds of Egyptian animal mummies, the researchers were in for a surprise: Roughly a third of all the mummies contained no body inside.

Read more here: http://www.livescience.com/50799-empty-animal-mummies.html

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Thanks Kenemet for posting that little bit of information...as I was wondering if that was not the case!

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Empty Promises..... :innocent:

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They would have had to get rid of a lot of bones. Wonder what they did with them or maybe I don't :)

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  • 2 weeks later...

We have around thirty animal mummies on display in our Egyptian exhibit at the Field Museum in Chicago, and quite a few in storage. These include cats and falcons, and a number of them are ancient fakes. My favorite cat mummy in our collection is over 2,000 years old and has a cute little face painted on the wrappings around its head, but X-rays and CT scans show that inside is only a cat head. The rest of the body is stuffing.

I like showing the cat mummies to our visitors and talking about the CT scans. Ha, ha. Get it?

We have a baby gazelle whose little antlers are poking out the wrappings at the back of the head, but radiographs of it have revealed that the little antlers are the only real part of the animal (the rest is, again, stuffing).

The article is really telling us nothing new. It's long been known that many animal mummies are ancient fakes. The reason behind it is debated. Was it merely a scam to accrue revenue for the temples, or was there a supply-and-demand problem? After all, many animals like my favorite cat mummy at the Field show only a single part of the animal, so perhaps it was sufficient to do so (i.e., the part represents the whole).

More disturbing, perhaps, are recent CT scans of our falcon mummies. Some of the images clearly show missing breast meat, which suggests the priests might have used them for lunch prior to mummification.

Back in the day, this was actually a well-known scandal that involved the Priests of Thoth (among others) and eventually resulted in imprisonment for six priests and a set of reforms announced.

http://www.archaeolo...useum#art_page3

My favorite example of animal mummy "scandal" comes from a memo written by the priest who ran the operation over 2,000 years ago. I can't recall what sorts of animals were involved, but the tradition was to put one animal in one clay pot, and then place it in the catacombs of the necropolis. This priest discovered that his employees were shoving several animals into individual pots, so he wrote a memo saying: "One god per pot!"

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I was talking about this with some friends, and my suggestion was that the mummies that had no bodies in them were the sacrifices that the Gods accepted. :w00t: :w00t: :innocent: :innocent:

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I was talking about this with some friends, and my suggestion was that the mummies that had no bodies in them were the sacrifices that the Gods accepted. :w00t: :w00t: :innocent: :innocent:

Oh, damn, that's good!

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Someone should look for Cut-me-Own-Throat Dibbbler. This sounds like something he'd do.

I remember reading about this a bit ago, and feeling sort of pleased that we really haven't changed all that much since those days.

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