Anyone in ancient Egypt was mummified

Were animals also mummified in ancient Egypt?

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Theo, 10 years old, asks:

Famous mummies like Tutankhamun can be admired in the museum. But are there also animals that were mummified in ancient Egypt? Theo asks us that, 10 years old.

Pets like cats were also often mummified in ancient Egypt. People took their pet animals to the grave. Source © Andrea Izzotti, shutterstock

Certain animals were sacred to the Egyptians because they combined their abilities with the powers of the gods. For example, Horus, the patron saint of kings, was depicted as a falcon.

In the late period of ancient Egypt, people set up extra cemeteries for the burial of animal mummies. With this they wanted to honor their protective deities. Certain animals were associated with a certain deity and sacrificed for them.
The cat goddess Bastet was honored in Bubatis. The faithful made a pilgrimage there to sacrifice mummified cats. Dogs, on the other hand, were sacrificed for the jackal-headed Anubis, crocodiles for Sobek, the crocodile god, who was responsible for water and fertility, fish for the vegetation god Osiris, and ibises for Thoth, the god of the moon, magic, wisdom and the calendar.

There are many of these animal mummies in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. Through them, researchers know more about the old belief on the one hand, but also about the animals that existed at that time on the other. The holy ibis is now extinct, and there are no more crocodiles and baboons in Egypt either.

In addition to the sacred animals that were found as mummies, numerous mummies of domestic animals were also discovered. They document the ancient Egyptians' strong love for animals.

Mummified cats, falcons, young crocodiles and ibises are also exhibited and explained in the Senkenberg Museum in Frankfurt.

In January 2001 a cemetery of animal mummies was discovered due to a landslide in the ancient Egyptian city of Abydos. Egyptian archaeologists found there, among other things, six large clay vessels, each with 25 falcon mummies and eight small limestone coffins, presumably with rat mummies.

The ancient Egyptians believed that rats ate the hearts of sinners while falcons represented the god Horus, son of Isis and Osiris.

You can find even more on the subject in WAS IST WAS Volume 70 Ancient Egypt. Golden Empire on the Nile