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Divine CreaturesAnimal Mummies in Ancient Egypt$
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Salima Ikram

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9789774248580

Published to Cairo Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5743/cairo/9789774248580.001.0001

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Divine Creatures: Animal Mummies

Divine Creatures: Animal Mummies

(p.1) 1 Divine Creatures: Animal Mummies
Divine Creatures

Salima Ikram

American University in Cairo Press

For most people mummies are synonymous with Egypt. However, it is less well known that the ancient Egyptians mummified animals as well as humans. For the ancient Egyptians, the act of mummification ensured that the body of a creature would be preserved forever, and thus they conferred the potential for eternal life upon it. Throughout history, however, animal mummies, like their human counterparts, had little value as artifacts. Many animal mummies have survived, and are now valued as sources of information on the culture and environment of ancient Egypt. Broadly speaking, animal mummies can be divided into four different types: beloved pets, buried with their owners; victual mummies, consisting of funerary food offerings for humans; sacred animals, worshiped during their lifetime and mummified with pomp upon their death; and votive mummies, dedicated as offerings at the shrines of specific gods to whom these animals were sacred.

Keywords:   Egypt, animal mummies, beloved pets, victual mummies, sacred animals, votive mummies

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