Cat and Scarab Mummies Discovered in 2,500-Year-Old Egyptian Tomb

The impressive findings were just a few of the exceptionally well-preserved items unearthed in this latest mission by Egypt's Ministry of Antiquities that also saw cobra and crocodile sarcophagi uncovered.
Loukia Papadopoulos

Egypt's Ministry of Antiquities announced on Facebook a new find certain to please animal and history lovers alike.


The discovery, made by an Egyptian archaeological team at the stony edge of King Userkaf pyramid complex in Saqqara Necropolis, consists most notably of several exceptionally well-preserved mummified cats and scarabs found in what is essentially an ancient cat resting place.

"The mission uncovered this time three plain New Kingdom tombs that had been used during the Late Period as cats necropolis along with four other Old Kingdom tombs, the most important of which belongs to Khufu-Imhat, the overseer of the royal buildings in the royal palace. This tomb can be dated to the late fifth and the early sixth dynasties," said the ministry's Facebook post.

The first ever in the Memphis necropolis

And according to Dr. Mostafa Waziri, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, the mummy scarabs are the first ever unearthed in the Memphis necropolis. The two large insects were wrapped in linen and housed inside a rectangular limestone sarcophagus featuring a vaulted lid decorated with three scarabs painted in black. 

scarab mummy egypt
Source: Ministry of Antiquities

Another collection of these creepy crawler mummies was also discovered in a smaller square limestone sarcophagus decorated only with one scarab. No mention was made of the type of scarabs featured however the dung beetle is ancient Egypt's sacred breed. 

necropolis egypt mummies
Source: Ministry of Antiquities

Meanwhile, the "tens of" cats were revealed to have been found alongside 100 wooden gilded cat statues as well as a bronze feline idol said to be dedicated to the goddess Bastet, the deity responsible for protection and cats.

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cat egypt mummies statues
Source: Ministry of Antiquities

Also noteworthy to add was the discovery of wooden statues of a lion, a cow, a falcon, as well as wooden cobra and crocodile sarcophagi nestled among the rest of these incredible items.

cobra egypt mummy
Source: Ministry of Antiquities

In addition, 1000 faience amulets dedicated to various ancient Egyptian deities were reported. Tawesert, Apis bull, Anubis, Djehuty, Horus, Isis, Ptah Patek and Khnum were just a few of the gods the ministry said were represented.

amulets egypt gods
Source: Ministry of Antiquities

The mission also unearthed inscribed papyri as well as two never-before-seen women's names. The papyri, written in demotic and heretic, as well as a third pile featuring chapters from the Book of the Dead were discovered with three alabaster canopic jars and ancient writing tools.

egypt mummies
Source: Ministry of Antiquities

Meanwhile, the newly encountered women's names, revealed to be Subek Sekt and Mafy, were said to be found engraved on a false door. Curiosity has absolutely peaked as to who these women could possibly be!

egypt mummy find
Source: Ministry of Antiquities

A collection of papyri baskets and ropes, 30 clay pots, human burials including a headrest as well alabaster and bronze jars were also found inside a wooden sarcophagus. Finally, a significant number of decorated stone reliefs and parts of false doors were also reported. 

mummy egypt
Source: Ministry of Antiquities

The first of three upcoming finds

The archaeological discovery is just one many recently unveiled by the ministry and is certain to attract more tourism to the region especially since the organization says this is just the beginning.

"This is the first of three upcoming new discoveries in other governorates in Egypt to be announced later before the end of 2018," said Minister for Antiquities Khaled El-Enany.

The ministry also revealed that a mysterious still sealed tomb also found in the mission will be opened and explored in the coming weeks. Needless, to say we are quite excited!