MUMMIES CURRENTLY ON TOUR IN US
'A DAY IN POMPEII' IS BACK!                MUMMIES OF THE WORLD
 
 
EGYPTIAN MUMMIES OTZI THE ICEMAN POMPEII PLASTER CASTS BOG BODIES HUMAN AND ANIMAL MUMMIES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
MUMMYMAKING SCHOOL PROJECTS MUMMY MUSEUMS MUMMY SCIENCE MUMMY DUMMIES SEARCH FOR MUMMIES @ MUMMY TOMBS
SCHEDULE A SCHOOL VISIT WITH JAMES M DEEM MUMMY QUIZ SHOP FOR MUMMY BOOKS, DVDS, TOYS, GAMES, COSTUMES AND MORE
 

Bestselling Books at the Mummy Tombs

 
 
MUMMYMAKING FACTS

pharaoh mummies

mummymaking methods

inside Egyptian mummies

oldest Egyptian mummies

DNA & Egyptian mummies

animal mummies

HISTORICAL INFO
KING TUT
FEATURED EGYPTIAN MUMMIES
MORE TO DO
AND DON'T FORGET 
the Chinchorro mummies
 
 
 

 

 

 

Egyptian Animal Mummies

 

The ancient Egyptians mummified animals as well as humans. They probably made more ibis mummies than any other type of animal mummy--but cat mummies are a close second. They are also the saddest type of Egyptian animal mummy, according to many Egyptologists, as you'll see below.


The Ancient Egyptians made four types of animal mummies:

  • mummified food

Preserved bread from an Egyptian tomb; often preserved meats would also be placed in the tomb

  • favorite pets (such as a gazelle)

A Pet Gazelle Mummy of 1881 Mummy Deir el Bahari Cache, article in KMT, Summer 2000

  • sacred animal mummies

Sacred Apis Bull Mummy at the Egyptian Museum in Turin, Italy

  • mummified animal offerings

Mummified Dog Offering at the Rijksmuseum in Leiden, the Netherlands

 

Mummified Cat Offerings at the British Museum in London

But the saddest of all the animal mummies were the last type, especially when the animals did not live a full life. 

For example, here's some information about:

The Kittens of Egypt

Cat mummies at the British Museum in LondonMummies come in all shapes and sizes--and species. The ancient Egyptians mummified reptiles and animals such as dogs, apes, bulls, rams, and even an occasional hippopotamus. However, one of the most common animal mummies in Egypt was the cat. To determine how, when, and why cats were mummified, Egyptologists have had to piece together many clues. It appears, for example, that by 1350 B.C., cats were occasionally buried with their owners, according to author Jaromir Malek. 

But by 900 B.C., a striking change had taken place in the Egyptians' religious beliefs. Many animals were now thought to be the embodiment of certain gods and goddesses; cats were believed to represent the goddess Bastet. Consequently, they were raised in and around temples devoted to Bastet. When they died, they were mummified and buried in huge cemeteries, often in large communal graves.

An even more important change took place over the centuries. From about 332 B.C. to 30 B.C., animals began to be raised for the specific purpose of being turned into mummies. The mummies were sold to people on their way to worship a god and left at the temple as offerings. Scientists have uncovered a gruesome fact: many cats died quite premature and unnatural deaths. Two- to four-month-old kittens seemed to have been sacrificed in huge numbers, perhaps, as Malek supposes, because they fit into the mummy container better. So many cat mummies were made that researchers can only guess that there were millions of them. In fact, one company bought 38,000 pounds of cat mummies in the late 1800s to pulverize and sell as fertilizer in England; this shipment alone probably contained 180,000 mummified cats.

 

 

After reading this, perhaps you would like to adopt your very own Egyptian animal mummy. Here's how you can do this:

A special adopt-an-animal-mummy project has been established by the Animal Mummy Project at the world famous Egyptian Museum in Cairo which will allow you (or your class at school) to do just that.

For many years the animal mummies in the museum have been neglected. But Dr. Salima Ikram (co-author of The Mummy in Ancient Egypt) has undertaken a drive to raise funds to conserve, x-ray, and perform other necessary projects.

You will have to share your mummy with other parents, however, and it will not be arriving in the mail. But if you can spend $100, you can adopt a small crocodile, a cat, a dog, an ibis, a horus falcon, or a large snake. If your funds are more limited--say $25 is your top limit--you can still adopt a mummified crocodile egg or a tasty food mummy.

For information about the adoptions, follow this link.

 

 

Amazon.com Widgets

 

Amazon.com Widgets

 

 

About the Mummy Tombs     |   Mummy Definition     Ask a Question       Bestsellers at the Mummy Tombs


All material on this website is intended primarily for children, educators, and parents.  
1988-2012 James M. Deem 
If you would like to contact James M. Deem, you may reach him here.

Be sure to visit The World of James M. Deem for stories, activities and information about the books of James M. Deem.