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Cats (Felis silvestris catus), known in ancient Egypt as "Mau", were considered sacred in In , an Egyptian farmer uncovered a large tomb with mummified cats and kittens. This discovery outside the town of Beni Hasan had eighty.
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A second auction was even more successful.

On Monday, at the saleroom of Msssrs. Owing to the announcement that had been made respecting the great antiquity of the mummy cats, which had been recently discovered in Egypt; a large number of merchants and brokers crowded the saleroom.


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There was very little amusement, the company being too much in the buying mood to allow time to be wasted. The auctioneers first disposed of the bones, which were eventually purchased Oy Messrs.

Cats in ancient Egypt

Leventon, it will be remembered, are the holders of the first cargo that was imported from the same place. There was also a brisk trade in cats skulls as souvenirs. Indeed, probably to this day on mantlepieces around the Mersey…. And Liverpool city museum got its grubby paws on a selection of complete mummies: Any other great cat stories: As so often Zenobia got here before us… If you want more science less manure go there.

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There is the case of the arrow-heads observed upon a farmhouse mantelpiece in Scotland by an antiquary who, recognizing the type as something never before found in Northern Europe, questioned his host. The farmer replied that when ploughing he frequently turned up these strange specimens, a stament verified when the antiquary himself went into the fields with a spade. The exciting news was communicated to a learned society in London, and a party travelled specially to Scotland to make further investigations; possibly an entire recasting of the archaeology of the British Isles was averted when it came to light that a predecessor of the farmer had used as fertiliser serveral loads of broken mummy-cats, at one time exported from Egypt for this purpose.

With the mummy gragments had come the arrow-heads.

Animal mummy

It was in Scotland, too, that a New Zealand mere greenstone axe was once found; and one of the fine carved celts from the island of Santo Domingo was some years ago uneathed in the Ardennes. Bob has gone one better and supplied Beach with this small pdf collecting together all references to.

However, some ruthless and cunning entrepreneurs of ancient Egypt took advantage of the fact that cats were considered sacred. They bred cats only to kill them when they reached maturity: Such cruel entrepreneurship was likely the background story of the largest mass grave of mummified cats ever found. At that time, the area around Beni Hasan was already known for several tombs of noblemen of ancient Egypt, including the tomb of Amenemhat who was the chief priest during the reign of the pharaoh Senusret I in the 20th century B.

Animal mummy - Wikipedia

They found nothing except for a cat-sized bronze sarcophagus and some jewelry, so they started selling the mummified cats to whoever would buy them. Some were sold to people across Egypt who kept them as souvenirs and a large number of them were sold to a local contractor who reportedly ground them up and used them to make fertilizer and paint.


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  4. As much as nine tons of mummified cat remains were transported to Liverpool, where they were sold at two auctions organized by an auction house named Gordon and Co. During the second auction, the auctioneer reportedly used a cat skull as his auction hammer. X-ray analyses of a number of the Beni Hasan mummified cats were conducted in the second half of the 20th century. The analyses have shown that most of the cats were less than a year old when they died and that they were likely purposely killed by blows to the head. Read another story from us: