Egypt’s newest archaeological discover is a nod to the particular consideration historical Egyptians paid to cats.
The nation’s ministry of antiquities says dozens of cat mummies and round 100 picket, gilded cat statues have been unearthed in lately found 6,000-year outdated Pharonic Age tombs. The discover additionally turned up a group of statues of different animals together with a lion, cow and falcon. The seven tombs have been found by an Egyptian archaeological mission at Saqqara, in a cemetery in what would have been the traditional metropolis of Memphis, south of Cairo. The excavation mission which uncovered the tombs began April. Whereas three of the tombs have been explored, 4 others stay unopened.
Cats have been notably revered as divine creatures in historical Egypt. A number of Egyptian deities, together with Bastet—the goddess of cats, have been depicted and sculptured with feline options. (A bronze cat statue of Bastet was additionally uncovered within the latest discover.) Cats have been additionally mummified and buried alongside historical Egyptians based mostly on mythology that they supplied the lifeless with pets and meals within the afterlife.
Egypt has notably publicized a lot of its latest archaeological finds within the hope of stirring vacationer curiosity following a dip in vacationer visits since mass protests overthrew long-time ruler, Hosni Mubarak, in 2011. In its Fb announcement put up, Egypt’s antiquities ministry famous there’s non-public sector curiosity “to develop archaeological area and websites and to indicate the distinctive richness of the Egyptian civilization” in addition to “appeal to the eye of the world.” Egypt’s different main finds over the previous 12 months have included the “most historical archaeological stable residue of cheese” and a 2,000 12 months outdated cemetery.
Signal as much as the Quartz Africa Weekly Transient right here for information and evaluation on African enterprise, tech and innovation in your inbox
Join the Quartz Africa Weekly Transient — a very powerful and fascinating information from throughout the continent, in your inbox.