8 million canine mummies found in Egypt


The Egyptians have been known to be associated to the process of mummification for a long time. Their beliefs in afterlife were intrinsic to...

The Egyptians have been known to be associated to the process of mummification for a long time. Their beliefs in afterlife were intrinsic to their culture and led to the formation of pyramids. They were also known to be associated to many kinds of animal cults.

8 million canine mummies found in Egypt
Credit: P.T. Nicholson; Copyright Antiquity Trust
In a recent discovery, about 8 million mummified dogs were excavated from a dig site in Saqqara, one of Egypt's most popular historic sites. It is also believed that this site of the temple of Anubis was used as bridge to the afterlife by ancient Egyptians. The find also included other mummified animals. The British archeologists believe that these animals were mummified for Anubis, the popular jackal headed figure, who was considered to be the god of death by the Egyptians. They used to worship him, build catacombs and temples for him. To the ancient Egyptians, Anubis served as a bridge to the afterlife and all life had to pass through him before reaching its destination.

The experts have suggested that the temple could possibly date back to the 4th century BC and must have been made out of stone. Paul Nicholson, leader of research team and professor of archaeology at the Cardiff University, in an interview, said, "The massive number of mummified animals shows the wide scale of animal cults in ancient Egypt. We hadn’t expected that there would be so many animals, and it opens up a new series of questions.” The researchers think that there might be more of these mummified objects. The number is already shocking enough but the reason why they were buried here could be even more shocking.

The ancient Egyptians considered dogs to be a good sacrifice to Anubis as he had the head of a dog and body of a man. These widespread sacrifices were common because the animals’ owners thought something good will be bestowed upon them and Anubis will help a recently deceased member of their family. The researchers are trying to identify how many of these sacrifices were done each year. For this, the Egyptian Supreme Council sent the DNA samples of the canine mummies to its lab in Cairo.



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Washington Account: 8 million canine mummies found in Egypt
8 million canine mummies found in Egypt
Washington Account
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