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Coffin for a mummified cat

From Bubastis, Egypt Roman Period, after 30 BC

 

Height: 76.300 cm

EA 22753

Room 62-63: Egyptian mummies

    Coffin for a mummified cat

    From Bubastis, Egypt
    Roman Period, after 30 BC

    Two main species of cats are known from ancient Egypt, the swamp or jungle cat (Felis chaus) and the African wild cat (Felis silvestris libyca). Mummies of both species were made during the first millennium BC, though the majority of examples identified so far have been African wild cats.

    The cat was closely associated with the goddess Bastet and many mummified examples have been found in cemeteries at Bubastis in the Delta, the goddess' main cult centre. The mummies were sometimes placed inside coffins made of wood or bronze. Their shape reproduces the external appearance of the cat squatting on its haunches. This example has a green-painted head and a white body.

    C.A.R. Andrews, Egyptian mummies (London, The British Museum Press, 1984)