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Cat mummy. (Justin Ennis / Flickr)

Cat Mummies Were a Big Thing in Ancient Egypt (Video)


In ancient Egypt, cat mummies held a special place in the religious practices of the time. The practice of mummifying cats and other animals was considered sacred. However, not all cat tombs were meticulously organized. Some appeared chaotic, with human and animal bones intermingled. The reason behind this seemingly disorganized approach may have been profit. Cat mummies were not just offerings; they were also available for purchase. Temples utilized these tombs as storage facilities for mummified cats, and it seemed to function like a thriving business. The enthusiasm for these feline offerings created logistical challenges, as the temples couldn't accommodate all the mummies.

The arrival of the Greeks in Egypt brought a newfound fascination with animal mummies, including those of the revered Apis bull. Greeks eagerly embraced this exotic custom, turning it into a widespread trend. The ancient Egyptian practice of animal offerings evolved as the Greeks adopted it with enthusiasm. Notably, some cat mummies turned out to be fakes, raising questions about whether priests may have exploited unsuspecting tourists or if the concept of creating something that resembled a mummy to fulfill religious beliefs played a role. These intriguing discoveries shed light on how ancient Egypt's customs captivated newcomers and fostered a burgeoning demand for sacred artifacts.

Top image: Cat mummy. (Justin Ennis / Flickr)

By Robbie Mitchell

Robbie Mitchell's picture


I’m a graduate of History and Literature from The University of Manchester in England and a total history geek. Since a young age, I’ve been obsessed with history. The weirder the better. I spend my days working as a freelance... Read More

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