Mummy mia: Mummified animals including cats and crocodiles believed to be 6000 years old discovered at burial ground
Archaeologists were left saying ‘mummy mia’ after they unearthed mummified animals believed to be 6000 years old.
At least 200 cats, 200 scarab beetles along with crocodiles and cobras were found at the site of Saqqara near Giza, Egypt, on November 10.
Located near the Ancient Egyptian capital, Memphis, the ancient burial ground is believed to be in honour of the goddess Bastet, the goddess of protection and cats.
Nigel Hetherington, from Past Preservers, was at the unveiling and is extremely excited about the finds.
Nigel said: “Saqqara is a known spot for animal mummification.
“When you’re talking about animal mummification you have what’s called ‘votive offering’ which is offerings to the gods.
“What’s been interesting is something new has come up, such as a mummified scarab beetle.
“You don’t expect new things to keep coming out like that.”
Nigel was keen to stress the importance and significance of the discoveries found recently.
He said: “People are fascinated with what comes out of Egypt.
“Ever since the discovery of Tutankhamun’s Tomb and we were there at the press conference and there was every major news outlet present.
“We livestreamed it and 135,000 people viewed it.
“There’s been a lot of local interest, wanting to know what the next discovery will be.”
Set up alongside world-renowned archaeologist, Dr Kent Weeks, Past Preservers is a media consultancy, which aims to raise awareness of important archaeological work.
Nigel – who has lived and worked in Luxor since 2003 – believes this could be the catalyst to revive the declining tourism industry in Egypt.
Since the Arab Spring in 2011, Egypt’s tourism industry, a huge part of their economy, had seen a massive decline.
However, Nigel hopes the recent discoveries along with predicted future ones will revive the tourism industry in Egypt and bring new eyes to archaeology.
He said: “It’s coming back, and things like the pyramids, the Egyptian museum, they are such big draws.
“I always say to people that there is always a new generation that will be fascinated by Egypt and visit the sites themselves.
“Ministers believe there are a lot more discoveries planned to be announced between now and Christmas, so you never know what’s coming along.
“The public is ready for that, and the people are interested in the news coming out of Egypt.”