Egyptian Animals Were Mummified Same Way as Humans
Animals were viewed not only as pets, but as incarnations of gods—and were buried by the millions to honor ancient Egypt's deities.
The ancient Egyptians mummified more than just human corpses. Animals were viewed not only as pets, but as incarnations of gods. As such, the Egyptians buried millions of mummified cats, birds, and other creatures at temples honoring their deities.
Because of the sheer scale of animal mummy production, many archaeologists thought the vast majority were churned out in relatively slipshod fashion. But a new study suggests the mummification techniques ancient Egyptians used on animals were often as elaborate as those they employed on the best-preserved human corpses.
Researchers at the University of Bristol, England, conducted the study, which is described in tomorrow's issue of the science journal Nature.
The team examined samples from four animal mummies—two hawks, a cat, and an ibis—dating from