NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM, LONDON / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM, LONDON / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Mummified cat. X-ray of an Egyptian mummified cat from the Ptolemaic period (330 to 30 BC). The neck vertebrae are displaced, suggesting that the animal was deliberately killed. Animals were mummified in Ancient Egypt for thousands of years, either to allow a favoured pet to follow its owner into the afterlife, or as an act of worship to a god with an animal cult. Cat mummy offerings would have been intended for the goddess Bastet (also known as Bast). Mummification involved removing the internal organs, drying out the body, embalming, and wrapping in layers of linen. Collected by Sir Flinders Petrie.
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