The ancient Egyptians were famous for their fondness for everything related to cats, and this was clearly demonstrated in the Pharaonic monuments that took something of the characteristics of cats, such as giant statues or complicated jewelry.
History also tells that the ancient Egyptians embalmed countless cats, and even established the first pet cemetery in the world, a cemetery nearly two thousand years old that includes cats wearing iron and bead collars. Read also Like humans, cats are also transmitted to the emerging corona virus Wild cats are threatened with extinction due to their pet cousins After threatening wildlife … a new strategy to control domestic cats Why do cats have primitive bags under their belly?
Sanctification and love
According to the account of the ancient Greek historian Herodotus, the ancient Egyptians shaved their eyebrows as a mourning ceremony for the loss of the family cat. Historians explain this strong respect by the ancient Egyptians’ belief that their gods and rulers possessed cat-like traits.
The 2018 exhibition has concluded , which was held at the Smithsonian ‘s National Museum of Asian Art Smithsonian National Museum of Asian Art in Washington , DC , about the importance of cats in ancient Egypt specifically, that the ancient Egyptians believed in double mood when cats.
On the one hand she can be a faithful, loyal and caring guardian, but on the other hand she can be feisty, independent and fierce. This belief gave a sublime characteristic to cats, which became the object of all care and respect, which prompted the result to build statues for them.
The Great Sphinx of Giza, which is 73 meters long and has the face of a man and the body of a lion, is the most famous example of a cat statue.
Likewise, the powerful goddess Sakhmet is depicted as carrying a lion’s head over a woman’s body. The goddess “Bastet” was also depicted as a lion or a cat, and the ancient Egyptians believed that cats also sanctified her.
It is also possible that the ability of cats to hunt mice and snakes helped raise their status among the ancient Egyptians, who also gave their children the names of cats, including the name “dead” (which means cat) for girls.
Sorcery and offerings
A lot of research indicated that this obsession with cats did not always take the character of love and affection, as there are indications that cats, especially young ones, are used for the purposes of magic, sorcery and murder, to be offered as sacrifices to the gods.
According to a report published on the Live Science website, Mary Ann Bolls Wegener – Associate Professor of Egyptian Archeology at the University of Toronto – stated that many creatures had been offered as a votive sacrifice to the gods of ancient Egypt, as a way to placate the gods or ask for their help in addition to prayers as well. .
Richard Johnston’s team, a professor of research materials at Swansea University in the United Kingdom, agrees with Wegener’s statements as his team used X-ray scanning technology to study mummified animals, one of which was a cat.
This enabled them to get a detailed look at its bone structure and the materials used in the mummification process. It was then that researchers realized she was very young when she died at the age of less than 5 months when her neck was deliberately broken.
The researchers concluded that the goal of raising cats was a commercial goal to a large extent, and they suggested that the period between 700 BC to 300 AD witnessed the establishment of farms dedicated to raising millions of cats and selling them to be killed and embalmed and to bury people next to them. Advertising
The results of their study were published in Scientific Reports on August 20, 2020.