Saturday, November 07, 2009

Animals in the Afterlife

(Above and below: Mummified baboons. Photos by Richard Barnes.)

In 1888 an Egyptian farmer digging in the sand near the village of Istabl Antar uncovered a mass grave. The bodies weren't human. They were feline—ancient cats that had been mummified and buried in pits in staggering numbers. "Not one or two here and there," reported the English Illustrated Magazine, "but dozens, hundreds, hundreds of thousands, a layer of them, a stratum thicker than most coal seams, ten to twenty cats deep."

That's a quote from the fascinating National Geographic article found here. All I can say is, "wow." Imagine finding hundreds of thousands of mummified cats in your garden. You'd never need to buy fertilizer again. (JK)

I knew the ancient Egyptians mummified their rulers and their cats, but until now I had no idea just how many animals they tried to take with them to the afterlife. They mummified crocodiles, rams, shrews, "even tiny scarab beetles and the dung balls they ate." Some of the animals were thought to be living gods. Others were just pets. And many were just food for the other side.

Check out the animal mummy photo gallery on the National Geographic site.


Anonymous 42 said...

Wow. I didn't know they mummified all those animals. I wonder how many of them were gifts to the gods.

11:33 AM  
Anonymous montana irregular said...

cool!!! I want my cat to be mummiefied

1:21 PM  
Blogger kathleen said...

i read that article in NatGeo and i thought it was interseting, i have a kitten and was comtemplating having it buried with me . . . . lol jk. and i am so happy you posted!

2:44 PM  
Blogger Kitty said...

Oo' Wow...

3:28 PM  
Blogger MushroomCloud said...

i had 2 do a project on animal mummies in 6th grade-my teacher actually managed 2 make it boring!!! How does 1 make mummified dung beetles boring?????

4:15 PM  
Blogger Reel Dancer said...

Hey everybody i have a favor to ask...for school i have to do a survey so please answer!
Would you rather have a...
Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich
Peanut Butter and Honey Sandwich
It Depends
Something Else
Neither One

Thanks a ton!!!!

4:40 PM  
Blogger evenescence2196 said...


5:17 PM  
Blogger evenescence2196 said...


5:17 PM  
Blogger evenescence2196 said...


5:17 PM  
Anonymous Funny Drama Girl said...

I get N.G too. That's interesting. You know what else? They buried cats with their dead owners back then. Whether the cat was dead or not!

5:29 PM  
Anonymous 42 said...

Reel Dancer: A Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich.

Though I am rather fond of Jelly and Cream Cheese.

7:34 PM  
Blogger brave chickens said...

um, ewww?

9:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH that HORRIBLE who buries their cats with them when they're still ALIVE...that'd be the worst way to die...that's cruel

9:42 PM  
Anonymous CA said...

my mom just gave me that issue. stange, huh?

10:16 PM  
Blogger Serena said...

i wanna see !
ehs, i prefer peanut butter and jelly sandwich

5:51 AM  
Anonymous Ian M. said...

I saw that arcticle, thought it was weird, they actually used a hook to remove the brain theough the nose before mummifying, they removed all the other organs too. The organs were preserved and put in the tomb with them.

7:19 AM  
Anonymous Ian M said...

PS pb and honey

7:19 AM  
Blogger Kiki Strike: Inside the Shadow City said...

Reel Dancer: Peanut butter & honey!!!

8:26 AM  
Anonymous gymnast20 said...

wow imagion finding that in your backyard lol im learning about this in school and my teacher showed us this article :)
and for reel dancer neither one
i dont like penut butter

9:13 AM  
Blogger Reel Dancer said...

thanks a lot guys!

1:39 PM  
Anonymous concerned citizan said...

wheres the shadow city store?

7:29 PM  
Blogger MushroomCloud said...

pb and honey- i prefer bananas w/ it though

8:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ok thats like super freaky. Why would u mummerise baboons? If I was egyptian(which I'm not) I don't think I would mummify my animals. Super gross! to mummify anything you have to pull the brain out from the nose. Talk about OW!

9:30 AM  
Anonymous charstar said...

peanut butter and jelly

8:53 AM  
Anonymous bananaphone said...

weard and awsome!!:)

6:23 PM  

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