Making a Cat Mummy. Some Case Studies from Italian Collections
The mummification of sacred animals surged in the New Kingdom and reached its peak between the Third Intermediate and Roman Periods. Animal mummies are artefacts, which give information about Egyptian cults and funerary practices, especially the mummification process. At the same time, their study offers a unique perspective where one can explore the social and economic impact of the proliferation of sacred animals, as well as the evolution of each individual species and their environment. After a brief overview on cats in Egyptian daily life and material culture, this work will focus on their role as sacred animals, and on different techniques used to make cat mummies, using unpublished samples kept in Italian collections as case studies.