The scientific tourist #205 — you cat take it with you…

This week’s image comes to you from the Houston Museum of Natural Science — it’s an Egyptian cat mummy:

Cat mummy

Cats have been kept as pets, and revered in one fashion or another for centuries in Egypt. So it shouldn’t be any surprise that cats were one of the most commonly mummified animals in ancient Egypt — cat mummification becoming particularly popular once a cat cult sprung up around the figure of Bast in (or possibly before) the Second Dynasty.

So many millions of cats were mummified that one 19th century farmer sold the contents of a cat cemetery he found — the buyer shipping off 38,000 pounds of cat mummies to be pulverized and used for fertilizer in England.

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