Cat Mummy in Cartonnage

Brooklyn Museum

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By the New Kingdom in Egypt, the wealthy deceased were guided in death by the Book of the Dead. Tombs and funerary objects were inscribed with passages to aid their journey through the underworld. There, they underwent several tests of the soul. If they passed, their souls merged with a major god such as Osiris or Ra. Only then could they safely pass through the cycle of life and death.To further encourage deification, clergy members merged the names of pharaohs with gods. The same has been done for this large wildcat, buried in a cartonnage. The Egyptian word for cat is "miu" which translates to "he or she who mews." Part of the inscription on the cartonnage reads "Osiris Pa-miu" indicating deification was not solely for humans.

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