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Archaeologists Discover Dozens Of Cat Mummies, 100 Cat Statues In Ancient Tomb

The tomb of a 4,500-year-old cat fancier has been unearthed in Egypt. The tomb near Cairo contained dozens of mummified cats, 100 gilded wooden cat statues, and a bronze statue of the cat goddess Bastet. The tomb also held two large mummified scarabs in good condition, which is much more rare than cat mummies.  

The discoveries were made at a newly discovered tomb in Saqqara, the site of a necropolis used by the ancient city of Memphis. The tomb dates from the Fifth Dynasty of the Old Kingdom, and archaeologists have found another one nearby with its door still sealed — raising the possibility that its contents are untouched.

The Ministry of Antiquities was clear about its goals in announcing the discoveries: attracting visitors back to Egypt's heritage sites, as the country has experienced a significant drop in tourists since the 2011 mass protests that overthrew dictatorial President Hosni Mubarak.

You have to wonder about the original owner of such a tomb. Was he/she particularly devoted to cats, or just interested in art and mummification? Read more about the new discovery at NPR. There are more pictures of the artifacts at the Ministry of Antiquities-Arab Republic of Egypt Twitter feed.

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