Wrapped in linen, this so-called sacred ibis—a hatchling housed at Montreal's McGill University—provided some of the first evidence that ancient Egyptians sent animal mummies on their final journeys fully fed, a new study says.
CT scans of the 2,500-year-old bird, one of four specimens used in the study, show that its body was packed with grains after death to sustain it in its afterlife mission as a messenger to the gods, according to findings published January 13 in the Journal of Archaeological Science.
"The ancient Egyptians intended to send this ibis to eternity with a full belly," the study team writes.
(Also see "Egyptian Animals Were Mummified Same Way as Humans.")
Pictures: Bird Mummies "Fed" After Death, Stuffed With Snails
Some of the millions of ancient Egyptian ibis mummies were "fed" after death, scans reveal—the better to live through the afterlife.