Throughout much of Egyptian history, there were strict penalties for anyone who killed a cat — accidentally or otherwise, especially as the goddess Bast gained in popularity. This site uses functional cookies and external scripts to improve your experience. Mummified cats were often dedicated to the goddess Bastet at her temple in the city of Bubastis. 12 Amazing facts about cats in ancient Egypt. Bast was given great power, as were her smaller domestic counterparts, who flourished as a result. This refers to the sound cats make when they meow. Particularly interesting is the scene in the tomb of Nebamun in which it was discovered that the eye of the cat is decorated with gold inlay – the only part of the tomb decorations to feature this effect. There were two main breeds of cat native to Ancient Egypt. https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonian-institution/why-ancient-egyptians-loved-their-kitties-180965155/ Mummified cats inside a tomb, at an ancient necropolis near Egypt's famed pyramids in Saqqara, Giza, Egypt, Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018. During Egypt’s New Kingdom period, which stretched from the 16th century B.C. Diodorus Siculus wrote “Whoever kills a cat in Egypt is condemned to death, whether he committed this crime deliberately or not. There […] This led to a thriving trade in smuggled cats! One in particular was due to cats’ fondness for sleeping in the sun, which eventually created the attribution between cat and the sun god – Ra. The tomb was stuffed with dozens of mummified kitties, a bronze statue of Bastet, and 100 gilded wooden cat statues. The two species eventually merged creating a new breed which was closely related to the modern Egyptian Mau. Little girls were often named “Miut” (literally meaning “female cat”) displaying the Egyptians fondness for both cats and children. These cats, unlike beloved pets, seem to have been bred for this purpose and intentionally killed (by strangulation or blunt force to the head) which suggests that the Egyptians were not always sentimental about their cats! Some people have also suggested it may have originated from the word “Miw” (to see.) This site uses functional cookies and external scripts to improve your experience. Perhaps one of the most intricate hunting scenes featuring a domestic cat is painted on the tomb of Nebamun. This, of course, contrasts with the law regarding the killing of cats. Hundreds of thousands of pilgrims came from all over Egypt to celebrate by drinking, dancing and singing, and to pray to the goddess for her favour over the coming months. They do not store any information about you other than that which is strictly required for navigation and function, and I have no aceess to any of the data. Herodotus claimed that on discovery of a house fire, the men from the house would line up outside the building to protect the cats from danger. who warned that “The young men of Aven and of Pibeseth (Bubastis) shall fall by the sword: and these cities shall go into captivity”. Dogs had already been domesticated for over a thousand years by this time. CATS in Ancient Egypt
2. As this symbiotic relationship developed cats were welcomed indoors and eventually consented to move in with their human friends and rear their kittens in the safety of the home. Herodotus visited Bubastis in 450 B.C.E. Most modern cats are thought to be descended from the cats of ancient Egypt, so these beautiful and engaging creatures represent a living link between ancient Egyptian civilization and our own times. Facts about Egyptian Cats inform the readers with a sacred animal during the ancient Egyptian period. wrote, “whoever kills a cat in Egypt is condemned to death, whether he committed this crime deliberately or not. The jungle cat (Felis chaus) and the African wildcat (Felis silvestris lybica). They are also playful and loving and the Egyptian people learned to love cats for these reasons. Then something truly remarkable happened: People discovered their cats made good hunting partners, which is pretty amazing when you consider that our pint-sized panthers are adamantly independent. There is evidence that the majority of the world’s cats can trace their ancestry to an Egyptian cat. Cats became more colourful (as the need to be almost permanently camouflaged lessened), their bodies became smaller and less muscled (due to changes in diet and activity), their brains became smaller (as a result of the reduction in necessary survival instincts) and they developed an increased tolerance for humans. They’re characterized by their great fidelity, shown both to their human family as well as their cat family. This god protects the Eleventh Division of the Duat in the Book of Gates (the division just before dawn) and watches over the enemies of Ra in the Book of Caverns. Like “ miu ” or “ meow ” also related to the ancient Egypt was pronounced like miu. 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