About the work

curationist logoCurationist Object Description
Mummified cats were frequently given as votive offerings to the goddess Bastet. Bastet was revered as a goddess of motherhood, fertility, and the household. She began as a lioness-headed goddess associated with Sekhmet. In the New Kingdom, she took on her full cat form. The feline embodied the duality of being a fierce huntress and a gentle caregiver. Egyptians regarded cats and other sacred animals as vessels or channels for deities. Harming them for non-ritual purposes was punishable by death.

Walters Art Museum Object Description

Since the Late Period the Egyptians gave animal mummies as gifts to the gods. These animals were bred near the temples. The largest amount of cat mummies was gifted to the goddess Bastet at her ritual center, Bubastis, in the eastern Delta of Egypt. Some cat mummies were exported to Europe in the 19th century for use as fertilizer. This cat mummy was carefully wrapped in linen strips. The x-ray of the mummy shows its neck intact, with the forelegs pressed down against the body and hind legs folded together.

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