Thursday, 26 January 2012

Egyptian birds were 'fed' prior to mummification

Analysis of a mummified, 2,500-year-old bird in the collection of a Canadian museum has led to a significant discovery about how ancient Egyptians viewed animals and their role in the afterlife. 

Led by University of Western Ontario archeologist Andrew Wade, a team of experts from Canada, the US and Egypt used computer imaging techniques to identify food stuffed into the beaks or bellies of sacred ibises — including a specimen from Montreal's Redpath Museum — before the creatures were sacrificed, mummified and placed as offerings to a god at prehistoric religious sites throughout the North African country. 

The findings are the first to show mummified animals being treated with the same kind of reverence shown to humans, with ancient Egyptians apparently determined to ensure adequate food supplies for all living beings as they journeyed beyond death.

The Vancouver Sun

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