Friday, November 30, 2018

Why Ancient Egyptians Loved Cats So Much

There is abundant archaeological evidence, however, of cats serving multiple roles. Cats were depicted protecting households against rodents and venomous snakes, but also as helpers for bird hunters and as pampered pets. Cats have been found buried in human graves, although the exact relationship between cat and human isn’t always clear. Some cats were buried with offerings, indicating that someone was planning for the animals’ afterlives. The recent discovery is one of the oldest examples to date of a cat burial.

Starting around 1000 B.C.E., gigantic cemeteries full of tens of thousands of cats became fairly widespread. The cats were elaborately wrapped and decorated, possibly by temple attendants. Roman travelers to Egypt described how regular Egyptians revered cats, sometimes travelling long distances to bury a deceased cat in a cemetery. Killing a cat may have even been a capital offense.



Debra She Who Seeks said...

It's been downhill for cats ever since.

Cal's Canadian Cave of Coolness said...

I think they are working their way back to the top.

nolan said...

"For the cat is cryptic, and close to strange things which men cannot see. He is the soul of antique Aegyptus, and bearer of tales from forgotten cities in Meroë and Ophir. He is the kin of the jungle’s lords, and heir to the secrets of hoary and sinister Africa. The Sphinx is his cousin, and he speaks her language; but he is more ancient than the Sphinx, and remembers that which she hath forgotten."

~ The Cats of Ulthar, H. P. Lovecraft