Cat Coffin with Mummy

Brooklyn Museum

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Depictions of cats in Ancient Egypt range from housecats to hunting cats to cats in the image of Bastet. Bastet was a feline deity charged with protecting the household. Cats in Egypt were treated as incarnations of Bastet and therefore highly respected. The decorations on this cat coffin reflect the adornments it would have worn in its life. It's painted with a beaded, possibly cowrie shell necklace with an Eye of Horus pendant and a collar. The dots and dashes on its arms and legs may represent fur and resemble the style of coffins found at Istabl Antar. However, this coffin may be from Saqqara, home to Egypt's largest complex. Within its tombs, mummified cats, crocodiles, birds, snakes, scarabs, and lions rested. Alongside them were hundreds of gilded statues of cats and a bronze of Bastet.

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