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Dozens of cat mummies found in 6,000-year-old tombs in Egypt

Dozens of cat mummies and a unprecedented choice of mummified scarab beetles were came upon in seven sarcophagi, some courting again greater than 6,00Zero years, at a web page at the fringe of the pyramid advanced in Saqqara, south of Cairo.

Antiquities Minister Khaled el-Enany stated the invention was once made via an Egyptian archaeological challenge all over excavation paintings began in April.

3 of the tombs were used for cats, he stated, whilst certainly one of 4 different sarcophagi came upon on the web page was once unopened.

mummified cats



An Egyptian archaeologist cleans mummified cats on the web page south of Cairo. Historic Egyptians worshipped cats as gods. Photograph: Khaled Desouki/AFP/Getty Pictures

The tomb dates from the 5th Dynasty of the Previous Kingdom and is atypical since the facade and door are intact, which means its contents might nonetheless be untouched, stated Mohamed Youssef, director of the Saqqara house. He stated professionals plan to discover it within the coming weeks.

Mostafa Waziri, head of Egypt’s Ultimate Council of Antiquities, stated the challenge had additionally unearthed the primary mummies of scarabs to be discovered within the house.

Two such mummies had been discovered inside of an oblong limestone sarcophagus with a vaulted lid embellished with 3 scarabs painted in black, he stated.

Any other choice of scarab mummies was once discovered inside of a smaller sarcophagus.

mummified scarab beetles



Mummified scarabs on show in a tumbler case present in a newly came upon tomb, at an historic necropolis close to Egypt’s famed pyramids in Saqqara, Giza, Egypt. Photograph: Nariman El-Mofty/AP

“The [mummified] scarab is one thing actually distinctive. It’s one thing actually a bit of uncommon,” Waziri stated.

“A few days in the past, once we came upon the ones coffins, they had been sealed coffins with drawings of scarabs. I by no means heard about them earlier than.”

A few of the dozens of cat mummies unearthed had been 100 wood, gilded statues of cats and one in bronze devoted to the cat goddess Bastet.

Cats held a unique position in historic Egypt and had been mummified as non secular choices.

A choice of wood, gilded statues of a lion, a cow and a falcon was once additionally unearthed on the Saqqara web page.

The antiquities division additionally discovered painted wood cobra and crocodile sarcophagi, a choice of gilded statues depicting animal options, in addition to gadgets together with amulets, canopic jars, writing equipment and papyri baskets.

Agence France-Presse and Reuters

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