Friday, 15 April 2011

Dog catacomb could contain 8,000,000 animals

An elaborate labyrinth of sacred tunnels, containing the mummified remains of millions of dogs, has been excavated under the Egyptian desert.

The Catacombs of Anubis project, led by Paul Nicholson of Cardiff University, is examining a labyrinth of tunnels beneath the desert at Saqqara in Egypt. The tunnels make up the catacomb for the burial of animals sacred to the dog or jackal-headed god Anubis.

The Dog Catacomb has been known since the 19th Century but has never been properly excavated before.

Dr Paul Nicholson, of Cardiff University’s School of History, Archaeology and Religion, said: "Our findings indicate a rather different view of the relationship between people and the animals they worshipped than that normally associated with the ancient Egyptians, since many animals were killed and mummified when only a matter of hours or days old. These animals were not strictly ‘sacrificial’.

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