BUBASTIS, CITY OF CAT GODDESS BAST (Part III)

During the years 1887-1889, Edouard Naville excavated Bubastis and found huge pits filled with the remains of cremated cats near brick ovens that were blackened from use.  In one pit he found 720 cubic feet of bones, but he noted that in many cases ichneumons (mongoose) were buried along with the cats.  Naville’s find is […]

BUBASTIS, CITY OF THE CAT GODDESS BAST (Part II)

Within the temple of Bubastis, priests cared for cats with donations from pilgrims, and eventually killed and mummified them to be sold as votive offerings to Bast.  Cat amulets and statues made of bronze and gold were also sold to enthusiastic pilgrims especially during the annual festival of Bast.  The Decree of Canopus, a stele […]

BUBASTIS, CITY OF CAT GODDESS BAST

BUBASTIS, PART I Bubastis, a city that had flourished for more than 4,000 years, is today nothing more than piles of scattered red granite blocks and a few empty graves and tombs overgrown by grass.  Bubastis now lies within a fenced area near the modern day city of Zagazig, where 20thcentury apartments look down in […]

SPEOS ARTEMIDOS HOME TO THE CAT GODDESS PAKHET

THE CAT GODDESS PAKHET Not far from Beni Hassan is Speos Artemidos, as named by the Greeks, or cave of Artemis.  Artemis was the equivalent Greek goddess to Bastet.  The cave is located near a small village, which is today called Istabl Antar.  Here, during the Middle Kingdom, Hatshupsut built two temples dedicated to Pakhet, […]

CAT MUMMIES AND TOMB PAINTINGS AT BENI HASSAN

Large numbers of cat mummies and tomb paintings have been found near a small village called Beni Hassan, located 23 kilometers south of Minya, between Asyut and Memphis.  With its necropolis located high in the limestone cliffs on the eastern side of the Nile, it was here that the famous archeologist, Flinders Petrie, found a […]

REFERENCES TO CAT GODDESS BAST IN PAPYRI AND INSCRIPTIONS AT THEBES

Many more references to the cat goddess Bast are present on steles, papyri and inscriptions from the 18th through the 26th Dynasties at Thebes. On a stela in Miramar a man says,  “I gave bread to the hungry, water to the thirsty, clothing to the naked; I gave food to the ibis, the hawk, the […]

THEBAN TOMBS HOME TO FANTASTIC REPRESENTATIONS OF CATS

Surprisingly, there were no sanctuaries or temples built to Bast at Thebes.  Instead, Thebes was built in honor of Amon, Mut and Khonsu.  Amon, the Father of all, Mut the Mother of all and Khonsu their son, were a trinity so to speak.  This is the reason that fewer cat mummies have been found at […]

“BOUHAKI” FIRST CAT NAME TO APPEAR IN HISTORY AT THEBES

Thebes was known in the ancient Egyptian language as Waset, and also as “No Amon.”  The Bible refers to it as the City of Amun, and to the Greeks, it was Diospolis meaning “Heavenly City.”   The Theban tombs are located in the mountains on the western side of the Nile.  A short boat ride across […]

CAT GODDESS BAST IN SAQQARA PYRAMID TEXTS

Saqqara has not only offered archeologists a treasure trove of tombs and mummies, but also the pyramid texts; texts that are written in limestone which contain thousands of lines of hieroglyphs describing myths and religious rituals.  Gaston Maspero, in 1894, was the first to discover and then translate these texts in which we find a […]

CAT MUMMIES AT SAQQARA

Most of the cat mummies at Saqqara were young before they died, about 4 months old, and were killed by head trauma, which was sometimes so violent that the skull split in two.  Other cats were killed by strangulation due to evidence of dislocated vertebrae.  The bodies of the Saqqara cat mummies were in differing […]

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