Amazing & Unusual Mummified Animals
The ancient Egyptians mummified animals as well as humans. Animals of all kinds were important to the Ancient Egyptians, and featured in the daily secular and religious lives of farmers, craftsmen, priests and rulers. Animals were reared mainly for food, whilst others were kept as pets. The bodies of sacred animals and some pets were often mummified and given elaborate burials.

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Baboon harbors a secret that helps identify it as a pet: An x-ray revealed missing canine teeth, probably removed to keep the creature from nipping royal fingers.

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A queen’s pet gazelle was readied for eternity with the same lavish care as a member of the royal family. In fine, blue-trimmed bandages and a custom-made wooden coffin, it accompanied its owner to the grave in about 945 B.C. Egyptian Museum, Cairo.

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Lovingly preserved, a hunting dog whose bandages fell off long ago likely belonged to a pharaoh. As a royal pet, it “would have been fed nibbly bits and spoiled rotten,” says Salima Ikram. When it died, it was interred in a specially prepared tomb in the Valley of the Kings.

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A raptor with an appliquéd face holds only a few bones.

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Votive mummies, each buried with a prayer, are infinitely varied but not always what they seem. A cunning crocodile is a fake—it has nothing inside.