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Dozens of cat mummies discovered in ancient Egyptian tombs

Seven sarcophagi were found at a site on the edge of the pyramid complex in Saqqara, south of the Egyptian capital of Cairo.

Dozens of cat mummies have been discovered along with a rare collection of mummified scarab beetles in seven Pharaonic Age tombs near Cairo, Egypt.

The discovery was made by an Egyptian archaeological mission during excavation work that began in April, antiquities minister Khaled el-Enany said.

The seven sarcophagi, some dating back more than 6,000 years, were found at a site on the edge of the pyramid complex in Saqqara, south of the Egyptian capital.

Three of the tombs had been used for cats, he said, while one sarcophagi belonged to Khufu-Imhat, overseer of the buildings in the royal palace.

Cats were mummified as religious offerings in ancient Egypt
Mostafa Waziri, head of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities, said the mission had also uncovered the first mummies of scarabs to be found in the area.

Two were found inside a rectangular limestone sarcophagus with a vaulted lid and decorated with three scarabs painted black, he said.

Dozens of cat mummies were discovered in Pharaonic Age tombs near Cairo
Dozens of cat mummies were found with around 100 wooden, gilded statues of felines and one in bronze dedicated to the cat goddess Bastet.

In ancient Egypt, cats were mummified and buried in large quantities as religious offerings.

They were praised for killing poisonous snaked and protecting the pharaoh since at least the First Dynasty of Egypt – with skeletal remains of cats being found among funerary goods dating back to the 12th Dynasty.


Wooden sarcophagi of cobras with mummies inside them were discovered with two shaped like crocodile

s at the Saqqara site, antiquities officials said.

A collection of wooden gilded statues of a lion, a cow and a falcon was also unearthed.