Two cats surmounting a box for an animal mummy

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY

About the work

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Two vigilant cats guard a small mummy box. Cats followed the deceased into the afterlife as protectors. Pet cats often lived into old age and were buried with their owners. Conversely, many cats were specifically bred for sacrifice. These cats were ritually killed at a young age, mummified, and offered to the gods.

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