116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Cats treated like royalty in ancient Egypt
If you have a cat at home, you might see your furry friend often curl up and take a snooze near a window where sunlight beams inside.
That behavior was one reason the ancient Egyptians thought cats were sacred, and treated them like royalty in life — and in death.
Cats’ love for naps in the sun led the Egyptians to think the animals might be connected to the Egyptian sun god, Ra, who was believed to rule in the earth, sky and the underworld. The daughter of Ra was the goddess Bastet, who appeared as a lioness and ruled the home, childbirth and cats.
Plus, the Egyptians respected cats’ almost magical powers of night vision, grace and stealth, according to JSTOR Daily.
What did cats do that was so special to ancient Egyptians?
Through ancient Egyptian art and other items, researchers have learned that the creatures kept away rodents and venomous snakes, protecting fields with crops like wheat, fruits and vegetables. Cats helped bird hunters, and the Egyptians liked to keep them as pets.
We know about the respect the Egyptians had for cats through the items found by archaeologists. These experts study and store objects from the field in order to share new information about humans from different time periods, who left behind interesting pieces of their lives before they died.
Archaeologists have connected cats to ancient Egypt as far back as 5,000 years ago.
How do we know ancient Egyptians honored cats in death? Some cemeteries held thousands of cats. The animals were at times buried with offerings and preserved as mummies and decorated.
This, ancient Egyptians thought, would provide for them in the afterlife, when they would enter the underworld after their lives on earth had ended. Cats also have been found buried alongside humans.
Comments: (319) 398-8494; email@example.com