THE MYCENAEAN CAT

MYCENAEAN CAT HISTORY   The Mycenaean civilization lasted a mere 500 years ending abruptly due to infighting, the invasion of the Dorians, or an invasion of the “Sea People”.  Primarily warriors, the Mycenaeans enlarged their empire by conquest rather than by trade, as the Minoans had, and inhabited what is today the whole of the […]

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 […]

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 DOMESTICATION CONTINUED: THE MOSTAGEDDA TOMB, HIERAKONPOLIS, EGYPT

  Recently, archeologists have discovered an African Wildcat, Felis Silvestris Libyca, in an Egyptian Pre-dynastic burial pit dating to around 3,700BC or to approximately 5,700 years ago.  The cat, buried along with a man curled into a fetal position, was wrapped in cloth, surrounded with items of jewelry and pots, not unlike the Cyprus find. […]