Egypt cat mummies discovered in ancient tombs

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image source, AFP
image captionArchaeologists in Egypt have discovered a collection of mummified cats and scarab beetles in a series of ancient tombs.
image source, Reuters
image captionThe finds, dating back more than 4,000 years, were made at Saqqara, south of Cairo. The vast burial ground served the city of Memphis - ancient Egypt's capital for 2,000 years.
image source, AFP
image captionAncient Egyptians believed cats, and other animals, held a special position in the afterlife.
image source, AFP
image captionOne of the tombs held a bronze statue dedicated to a cat goddess.
image source, Reuters
image captionScarabs also held religious significance and could symbolise the sun god, Ra. Mostafa Waziri, of Egypt's antiquities council, said the discovery of mummified scarabs was "something really a bit rare".
image source, AFP
image captionHumans were mummified to preserve their bodies for the afterlife, while animals were mummified as religious offerings.
image source, Reuters
image captionIn all, seven sarcophagi were discovered on the edge of the King Userkaf pyramid complex. Three of them held cats.
image source, Reuters
image captionFurther work at the site in Saqqara is planned. Archaeologists found the door to another tomb that remains sealed and they plan to open it in the coming weeks.
image source, AFP
image captionThe newly found tombs lie in a buried ridge that has only partially been excavated. Experts say it could offer many more discoveries.

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