Sacred animal mummy of a cat

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY

About the work

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From the Late Period to the Roman Period, Egypt underwent dynamic power shifts. The Late Period was the last of native Egyptian rule and brought continuous invasions and power grabs. In 332 BCE, Alexander the Great assumed power initiating the Ptolemaic period. In 30 BCE, Roman rule began. Throughout these shifts, foreign interests in local cults and religious practices were strong. As a result, arts and architecture in Egypt were influenced by Greco-Roman aesthetics. In particular, mummification in the Roman Period underwent significant stylistic changes. Among these changes were the wrapping patterns. This cat mummy is wrapped in alternating linens, forming an intentional checkerboard pattern. In comparison, earlier mummies were wrapped in cartonnage, a mixture of linen, papyrus, and plaster.

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