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Ancient Mysteries

8 million dog mummies discovered in Saqqara

January 8, 2013 | Comment icon 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 | Comments (57)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #48 Posted by Alcibiades9 9 years ago
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.
Comment icon #49 Posted by kmt_sesh 9 years ago
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 mumm... [More]
Comment icon #50 Posted by the L 9 years ago
@kmt_sesh (and possibly anyone who wants to share his knowledge) I read that Islam historians al Tabari, Sibt ibn al Jawzi, Ibn Abd Hakem and Muhammad Khwandamir wrote that AE pyramids had been built by the races before flood. And that Egyptians as we know them with their temples came in Nile river later. Since I dont know arabic I cant test this claim but maybe you know something more. Also Diodorus of Sicily wrote : "The Egyptians were strangers, who, in remote times, settled on the banks of the Nile, bringing with them the civilization of their mother country , the art of writing, and a pol... [More]
Comment icon #51 Posted by kmt_sesh 9 years ago
@kmt_sesh (and possibly anyone who wants to share his knowledge) I read that Islam historians al Tabari, Sibt ibn al Jawzi, Ibn Abd Hakem and Muhammad Khwandamir wrote that AE pyramids had been built by the races before flood. And that Egyptians as we know them with their temples came in Nile river later. Since I dont know arabic I cant test this claim but maybe you know something more. Also Diodorus of Sicily wrote : "The Egyptians were strangers, who, in remote times, settled on the banks of the Nile, bringing with them the civilization of their mother country , the art of writing, and a pol... [More]
Comment icon #52 Posted by Pineapple Milk 9 years ago
That's so strange?
Comment icon #53 Posted by Alcibiades9 9 years ago
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 Americ... [More]
Comment icon #54 Posted by simijkaktoka 9 years ago
how can anybody count 8 million decayed dog mummies? it seems outrageous. Even if they were neatly buried, it just seems impossible to count so many. But the story is fascinating.
Comment icon #55 Posted by The Unseen 9 years ago
8 million,what? Did they sit there and count each and everyone ?
Comment icon #56 Posted by Atentutankh-pasheri 9 years ago
They see how many mummies are in a certain volume of the cemetery, a few cubic metres for instance, then measure the area of the entire cemetery to gets it's volume and divide by the excavated volume, and then multiply that number by the number of mummies found in the excavated area. Not accurate really, just a good guess.
Comment icon #57 Posted by third_eye 9 years ago
'meow' ?


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