8 million dog mummies discovered in Saqqara
January 8, 2013 | 57 comments
Image Credit: Jon Bodsworth
Excavations at the Saqqara necropolis in Egypt have revealed an immense number of animal burials.
The catacombs were first discovered in 1897 by Egyptologist Jacques De Morgan and the burials are believed to be associated with the cult of Anubis to whom the place is dedicated. Studies of the remains have revealed a wide variety of dog breeds and many animals that were buried shortly after their birth. The remains of other animals such as cats and mongooses have also been found at the site.
"In some churches people light a candle, and their prayer is taken directly up to God in that smoke," said excavation leader Professor Salima Ikram. "In the same way, a mummified dog's spirit would carry a person's prayer to the afterlife."
Studies on the mummies, Ikram explains, revealed that some of them were old while the majority were buried hours after their birth. She said that the mummified animals were not limited to canines but there are cat and mongoose remains in the deposit.
Source: Ahram Online
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