Cat Mummy

Walters Art Museum

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Ancient Egyptians viewed native Nile animals as living avatars for deities. In the animals' afterlives they were regarded as messengers with a direct line to the gods. Therefore great care went into readying them for the afterlife. Mummified animals were presented as offerings to gods and deposited at temples. In return, pilgrims asked for blessings in their lifetime.Mummified cats in honor of Bastet were in especially high demand starting around the Third Intermediate Period. Her cult continued to amass followers well into the Greco-Roman periods. To meet demands, priests bred cats for offerings in catteries. Yet many false mummies were created and sold. False mummies contain partial skeletons, sand, fabric, or in this case, nothing at all.

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