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Archaeology & History

8 million dog mummies unearthed in Egypt

By T.K. Randall
June 21, 2015 · Comment icon 8 comments

Depiction of an ancient Egyptian animal ritual. Image Credit: John Reinhard Weguelin
The ancient Egyptian jackal-headed god of death Anubis was worshipped by huge numbers of people.
Researchers excavating catacombs near the historic site of Saqqara in Egypt have revealed that the site was once home to more than 8 million dog mummies.

The find reinforces the idea that Anubis, the ancient Egyptian god of death, had a huge following and was a staple part of life for millions of people for hundreds of years.

"We're very pleased and somewhat surprised by the results," said director Paul Nicholson. "We hadn't expected that there would be so many animals, and it opens up a new series of questions."

These days only a small number of the mummies still remain in the catacombs as most of them had either disintegrated over the years or had been removed by grave robbers.
Other mummified animals found at the site included cats, foxes, falcons and mongooses.

"It would have been a busy place," said Nicholson. "A permanent community of people living there supported by the animal cults."

While investigating the catacombs the researchers even found the fossil remains of a long-extinct sea creature dating back millions of years.

"The ancient quarry men may have been aware of it, or they may have gone straight through it, it's hard to know," said Nicholson.

Source: | Comments (8)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by freetoroam 9 years ago
Wow, thats a lot of dogs, While investigating the catacombs the researchers even found the fossil remains of a long-extinct sea creature dating back millions of years. This is also interesting, but guess we will never know if they did know it was there or not.
Comment icon #2 Posted by Infernal Gnu 9 years ago
There might be a mummified extraterrestrial or two in the pile somewhere. "Ancient Aliens" needs new material for a future episode.
Comment icon #3 Posted by GreenmansGod 9 years ago
I think I had heard a while back about them finding a lot of the animal mummies they found were empty. Those must been from the dollar mummy store.
Comment icon #4 Posted by Mystic Crusader 9 years ago
This makes me think that the great sphinx was built in the image of a dog.
Comment icon #5 Posted by BeastieRunner 9 years ago
That's a lot of mummies.
Comment icon #6 Posted by Athena1979 9 years ago
I think its cool about the long extinct sea creature in there.
Comment icon #7 Posted by Mystic Crusader 9 years ago
I bet if they could carbon date how long the dogs have been there, cross date that with the sphinx, we could find out the age of the sphinx. And probably the bible.
Comment icon #8 Posted by mskate 9 years ago
why don't they just quit it!!!

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