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Pot Burials of Dogs Found at Abydos

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Abydos-dog-burialCAIRO, EGYPT—The remains of dogs have been discovered buried in pots at the southeast corner of Shunet ez Zebib, a mud-brick structure at the archaeological site of Abydos. “Of the many jars that were recovered, only 13 have thus far been properly investigated. Of these, four were empty, three contained ibises, and five were filled with dogs,” said Salima Ikram of The American University in Cairo. Three of the pots held skeletal remains of dogs, but the other two held well-preserved dogs whose fur coats are still largely intact. They may have been mummified through evisceration, dessication, and defatting with natron salt. The bodies were then coated with oil and resin and pushed, hind limbs first, into the pots. “They were probably votive offerings unless they held the position of sacred animals—perhaps the pot burials are indicative of their being Sacred rather than just Votive,” Ikram explained.