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, a cat goddess who was a combination of Bast and Sekhmet. Near the temples, large numbers of mummified cats filled the vast catacombs. Those Egyptians dedicated to the goddess Pakhet traveled great distances to bury their cats in devotional ceremonies there. However, it was at Bubastis that the true importance of the cat was to reach its peak.