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 […]

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 […]

THE CAT GODDESS BAST IS WORSHIPPED

The ancient Egyptians worshipped the cat goddess Bast at four main sites.  Bast, the cat goddess, was a very important deity to the ancient Egyptians confirmed by their unfailing devotion to her not only in one part of the kingdom, but also at various locations in both Upper and Lower Egypt.   Saqqara, Thebes, Beni […]

CAT GODDESS BAST AND THE GODDESS MUT

CAT GODDESS BAST AND THE GODDESS MUT Bast continued to be associated with other goddesses that were protectors of motherhood and children, such as the ancient Egyptian mother or creator goddess Mut. “In the temple of Koptos the goddess Mut of Thebes was called …. Bast…..”(Erman, 1907, p.59)  Mut’s sacred animal was the cat, as […]