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

Dozens of cat mummies and a unprecedented number of mummified scarab beetles had been found out in seven sarcophagi, some relationship again greater than 6,000 years, at a website online at the fringe of the pyramid advanced in Saqqara, south of Cairo.

Antiquities Minister Khaled el-Enany mentioned the invention was once made via an Egyptian archaeological project all through excavation paintings began in April.

3 of the tombs have been used for cats, he mentioned, whilst one in every of 4 different sarcophagi found out on the website online was once unopened.

mummified cats

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

The tomb dates from the 5th Dynasty of the Previous Kingdom and is bizarre for the reason that facade and door are intact, which means its contents would possibly nonetheless be untouched, mentioned Mohamed Youssef, director of the Saqqara space. He mentioned mavens plan to discover it within the coming weeks.

Mostafa Waziri, head of Egypt’s Ideally suited Council of Antiquities, mentioned the project had additionally unearthed the primary mummies of scarabs to be discovered within the space.

Two such mummies have been discovered within an oblong limestone sarcophagus with a vaulted lid embellished with 3 scarabs painted in black, he mentioned.

Every other number of scarab mummies was once discovered within a smaller sarcophagus.

mummified scarab beetles

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

“The [mummified] scarab is one thing in point of fact distinctive. It’s one thing in point of fact a little uncommon,” Waziri mentioned.

“A few days in the past, once we found out the ones coffins, they have been sealed coffins with drawings of scarabs. I by no means heard about them sooner than.”

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

Cats held a different position in historic Egypt and have been mummified as spiritual choices.

A number of wood, gilded statues of a lion, a cow and a falcon was once additionally unearthed on the Saqqara website online.

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

Agence France-Presse and Reuters

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