About this object

Mummified cats were given as gifts to goddesses who were associated with cats and lions, such as Bastet, Pakhet and Sekhmet. This mummy is wrapped in bandages of two colours and the head has been painted with facial features and decoration. The mummy was purchased from Norwich Castle Museum in 1956. It was previously in the collection of Sir Peter Eade . The mummy was X-rayed and CT imaged at the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital on 19th April 2016 as part of the University of Manchester’s Animal Bio Bank Project (ref. no. AEABB640). This is an extract from the report written by Lidija McKnight and Stephanie Woolham: “X-rays show a complete cat skeleton; however, the CT scan reveals extensive compression of the body indicated by the limbs being superimposed rather than side by side. There is a dense pad on top of the skull, used to create height for the modelled face. The skull has experienced some post-desiccation damage. The femoral heads appear to have become dislocated form the pelvis, presumably during the mummification process, when the body was being manipulated into position. The head lies at an unnatural angle due to some misalignment in the cervical spine, again likely caused when the body was manipulated.”

Object specifics

  • Type
    Animal Remains
  • Culture
    Late Period; Ptolemaic; Roman Period
  • Artist/Maker
    Unknown or unrecorded
  • Place made
    Africa: Northern Africa: Egypt: Beni Hasan
  • Date made
    664 BC - AD 200 about
  • Materials
    Animal; Textile
  • Location
    Item not currently on display
  • Acquisition
    Purchased from the collections of Norwich Castle Museum, 1956
  • Collector
    Peter Eade
  • Place collected
    Africa: Northern Africa: Egypt: Beni Hasan
  • Date collected
    1916 before
  • Measurements
    400 mm
  • Related people
    Peter Eade (Collector, previous owner); Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery (Previous owner)

Explore related

Publications

  • 'Complex organic chemical balms of Pharaonic animal mummies', Nature vol. 431

    Buckley, Stephen A., Clark, Katherine A. and Evershed, Richard P.,

    Author: Buckley, Stephen A., Clark, Katherine A. and Evershed, Richard P.,
    Publisher: Nature
    Date: 2004-09-16
    Description: A report of chemical investigations of mummified animals which revealed the presence of highly complex balms of comparable complexity to those used to mummify humans.

Events

  • 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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