About this object

X-rays show that this object contains the body of a kitten that is much smaller than the outer wrappings suggest. Like most cats bred in ancient Egyptian temples it was sacrificed before reaching 12 months old. Mummified cats were given as gifts to goddesses who were associated with cats and lions, such as Bastet. Pakhet and Sekhmet. Bastet could appear in the form of a cat or as a cat-headed woman. People attending festivals to celebrate the cult of the goddess gave mummified cats or bronze statues of cats to the priests as offerings for the goddess.

The mummy has a cylindrical shape with a naturalistic cat’s head. The arrangement of the bandages, in geometrical patterns using interlaced dyed strips of material, follows a style which is common in the Ptolemaic and Romano-Egyptian periods and it allows us to date the cat to about the 1st century AD. The mummy was X-rayed and CT imaged at the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital on 9th April 2015 as part of the University of Manchester’s Animal Bio Bank Project. Radiographs revealed "a highly compressed cat inside, however the cat is much smaller than the bundle itself and is placed in the centre of the bundle. Epiphyses are visible on the long bones indicating that the cat was immature at the time of death. Radiodense patches are visible through the layer of linen which are likely to be resin applied as an adhesive during the wrapping process” (extract from the report written by L. McKnight and S. Woolham, 2015).

Object specifics

  • Type
    Animal Remains
  • Culture
    Romano-Egyptian
  • Artist/Maker
    Unknown or unrecorded
  • Place made
    Africa: Northern Africa: Egypt
  • Date made
    30 BC - 100 AD
  • Materials
    Animal; Textile
  • Location
    World Museum, Level 3, Ancient Egypt Gallery
  • Acquisition
    Gift of the Royal Institution, Liverpool, 1942
  • Collector
    Liverpool Royal Institution
  • Place collected
    Africa: Northern Africa: Egypt
  • Date collected
    1894 before
  • Measurements
    120 mm x 140 mm x 450 mm
  • Related people
    Liverpool Royal Institution (Collector, previous owner)

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Publications

  • Ägyptische Mumien. Unsterblichkeit im Land der Pharaonen

    Landesmuseum Württemberg

    Author: Landesmuseum Württemberg
    Publisher: Philipp von Zabern
    Date: 2007
    Description: Catalogue of the exhibition called "Ägyptische Mumien. Unsterblichkeit im Land der Pharaonen" [Egyptian Mummies. Immortality in the Land of the Pharaohs] held at the Landesmuseum Württember, Germany 7 OCtober 2007 - 24 March 2008.

  • 'Auctions and air-raids: Liverpool's animal mummy collection' in Lidija McKnight and Stephanie Atherton-Woolham (editors) 'Gifts for the Gods: Ancient Egyptian Animal Mummies and the British'

    Cooke, Ashley

    Author: Cooke, Ashley
    Publisher: Liverpool University Press
    Date: 2015
    Description: Ashley Cooke, 'Auctions and air-raids: Liverpool's animal mummy collection' in Lidija McKnight and Stephanie Atherton-Woolham (editors) 'Gifts for the Gods: Ancient Egyptian Animal Mummies and the British' (Liverpool University Press, 2015) pp. 48-53.

  • Gifts of The Nile: Ancient Egyptian Arts and Crafts in Liverpool Museum

    Bienkowski, Piotr; Tooley, Angela

    Author: Bienkowski, Piotr; Tooley, Angela
    Publisher: Her Majesty's Stationery Office
    Date: 1995
    Description: A 130 page illustrated book that focuses on the Egyptian antiquities in World Museum's collections to provide a colourful introduction to the land and its culture in the Pharaonic period. An appendix explains the history of the collection and includes information about the Lady Lever Art Gallery Egyptian collection, which is also part of National Museums Liverpool.

Events

  • Egyptian Mummies. Immortality in the Land of the Pharaohs

    Start date: 2007-10-07
    End date: 2007-10-07
    Description: An exhibition called "Ägyptische Mumien. Unsterblichkeit im Land der Pharaonen" held at the Landesmuseum Württember, Germany. The Landesmuseum Württemberg is the main historical museum of the Württemberg part of the German state of Baden-Württemberg. It emerged from the 16th century “Kunstkammer” of the dukes, later kings, of Württemberg who resided in Stuttgart

  • Gifts for the Gods: Animal Mummies Revealed

    Start date: 2015-10-08
    End date: 2015-10-08
    Description: This fascinating exhibition explores ancient Egyptian animal mummies, prepared in their millions as votive offerings to the gods. Discover the background behind this religious practice in the context of life in ancient Egypt and the environment in which the animals lived. Featuring mummified specimens such as jackals, crocodiles, cats and birds, the exhibition will also include a recreation of a subterranean animal catacomb, creating an immersive and atmospheric experience. Using animal mummies from a variety of UK collections, the exhibition will also look at the use of science, such as CT imaging, to learn more about the subject. World Museum has worked on this exhibition in partnership with Manchester Museum, Glasgow Museums and The University of Manchester. The touring exhibition will be hosted at three cities - Manchester: 8 October 2015 2016 - 17 April 2016 Glasgow: May 2016 - June 2016 Liverpool:14 October 2016 - 26 February 2017

Ownership

Previous owners

Object view = Humanities
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