Why did ancient Egyptians mummify animals?

Archaeologists combing Egypt have excavated an entire zoo’s worth of preserved animals: cats, dogs, donkeys, lions, rams, and shrews. Ancient Egyptians made these mummies for many reasons. Beloved pets were embalmed and entombed with their owners so that they might reunite in the afterlife. Sometimes, only the meat was mummified, to serve as an eternal jerky snack. Crocodiles, ibises, and other animals linked to specific gods were mummified by the millions. Although some mummies ended up in museums, the majority of human and animal mummies were burned as torches, used as fertilizer, or even ground up for medicine!


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