Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Did you know dogs were special to the peoples of ancient Egypt?

Many know cats played a big role in ancient Egypt, but did you know dogs were important to the Egyptians as well? They were considered able to communicate with the Egyptian god Anubis, lord of the underworld. 

We even know some dogs' names thanks to preserved collars and reliefs. Popular names include, Brave One, Reliable, and Good Herdsman.

Dogs were highly valued, and when a dog died, the family would bury it with as much procedure they could afford, just like when a human member of the family died. The family would shave their eyebrows as a sign of their grief.

The Egyptians believed the dog could move on to a different plane after death and interact with Anubis, and for this to happen, it needed a fitting burial. What we haven't known until now is the scale of the burial grounds for pets. The catacombs of Anubis date to around 750 to 30 BC, and British scientists now believe around eight million pets, mostly dogs, were mummified and buried here.

Cats were also kept as pets, and protected against rats, mice, and snakes. They were represented by the goddess Bastet, a protector of the lands that comprised ancient Egypt.

~ Maria Sadowski ~

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