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The Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities presented this Saturday in the archaeological zone of Saqqara, south of Cairo and where the first pyramids of the country are located, 75 statues and various animal mummies, between them Lion cubs, birds, crocodiles and cats, among which is the first complete mummy that was found in the country of a lion cub.
«Today we can announce that this is the first time that we have found a complete mummy of a small lion«, Explained during a ceremony in the archaeological park the head of the Supreme Council of Antiquities of Egypt, Mustafa Waziri.
He explained that there were also five big cats, one of which was identified as a lion, while the others are being analyzed to determine what class they are, although it is believed that they could be leopards.
Felines were very important in Ancient Egypt, especially cats, which were considered gods and the Saqqara necropolis was a cemetery for these animals. The Egyptians believed that cats were manifestations of the goddess Bastet, the cat of Ancient Egypt and the goddess of happiness and harmony, protector of humans and the home.
Mummies and animal statues in Saqqara
During the presentation of the mummified animals, the Egyptian Minister of Antiquities, Khaled al Anani, stressed that "this is a discovery of hundreds of statues and mummies of animals in the archaeological zone of Saqqara", all of them belonging to the last period (664- 332 BC).
The minister also explained that in this recent discovery they found 75 statues of cats in wood and bronze, of different sizes.
In the archaeological zone of Saqqara, great discoveries have been made in the last two years, including the well preserved tomb of priest Wahtye of the V dynasty and the largest beetle in the world, Al Anani recalled.
The mummies of the animals and the statues found lately have been exhibited today in various showcases before the gaze of dozens of people who have come to the presentation that the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities has organized in Saqqara.
For the ancient Egyptians, cats and beetles were sacred, the latter considered an amulet of life and power that brought luck. Animals were mummified as religious offerings.
The Egyptian authorities also mentioned that these discoveries will be housed in the museums that the Egyptian Government is building: the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM), the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization (NMEC) and several museums in different parts of Egypt such as Hurghada ( Red Sea) or Sharm el Sheikh (between the Red Sea and the Sinai Peninsula).
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