Tens of Cat Mummies and 100 Cat Statues Found Near Ancient Egyptian Pyramid

The remains of 10s of feline mummies were found in the complex at Saqqara, Egypt.

Credit: Picture courtesy Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities

Ancient Egyptians appear to have actually been “feline individuals,” or a minimum of feline mummy individuals.

Scientists have actually collected a number of mummified felines together with about 100 wood feline statues in a burial place complex near a pyramid developed for the pharaoh Userkaf, who ruled from 2291 B.C. to 2289 B.C., the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities revealed Nov. 10

The burials lie near the website of Saqqara in Egypt. Archaeologists are figuring out specifically when whatever dates to, however it appears that at some point in between 717 B.C. and 332 B.C., the complex was utilized for the burial of felines, the ministry stated in a declaration on Facebook. [See Photos of the Cat Mummies and Statues at Saqqara]

Up until now, 10s of feline mummies have actually been discovered there, in addition to the wood statues, which were gilded with gold and might date to the exact same time. A statue made from bronze revealing Bastet, an Egyptian goddess who appears in the shape of a feline, was likewise found, the ministry stated.

In ancient Egyptian folklore, Bastet had a wide variety of powers. On one hand, she was a protective goddess who might ward off a range of wicked hazards while, on the other hand, she was likewise a goddess connected with music, dancing and satisfaction.

A bronze statue showing Bastet, an Egyptian goddess in the shape of a cat, was discovered along with the cat statues.

A bronze statue revealing Bastet, an Egyptian goddess in the shape of a feline, was found in addition to the feline statues.

Credit: Picture courtesy Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities

A large variety of other discoveries were made within or near the complex. These consist of statues portraying a lion, cow, falcon and crocodile, 2 mummified scarab beetles discovered within boxes and 2 mummified cobras that were discovered within cobra-shaped sarcophagi.

Papyri consisting of chapters from the “Book of the Dead” (a series of spells and guidelines that assist the departed browse the underworld) were likewise found. In addition, archaeologists found the remains of human mummies, the remains of burial places indicated for human beings and a number of stone inscriptions. They likewise discovered the remains of baskets, ropes and containers made from clay, alabaster and bronze, the ministry stated.

Excavations are continuous, and it will be at some point prior to archaeologists can identify precisely when whatever dates to and what the papyri and stone inscriptions state. A few of the inscriptions and burial place stays might date to the 5th or 6th dynasty (at some point in between 2465 B.C. and 2150 B.C.), a time when pyramids were being integrated in Egypt, according to the declaration.

A group from the ministry has actually been excavating the website considering that April and part of it was excavated in between 2008 and 2013 by a French historical group stated the declaration.

Initially released on Live Science