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Interior of Ancient Egyptian Cat Mummy Revealed

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Egypt Cat MummyRENNES, FRANCE—Live Science reports that a computerized tomography (CT) scan of a 2,500-year-old Egyptian cat-shaped mummy held in the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts in Rennes revealed a ball of fabric in the cat’s head, and five cat hind-leg bones from three different cats in its bundle-shaped body. Théophane Nicolas of France's National Institute of Preventive Archaeological Research said the bones all showed signs of decomposition and insect damage. No skull, vertebrae, or ribs were detected in the bundle. The researchers created a 3-D digital reconstruction of the interior of the object that can be projected onto a 3-D printed model of the mummy, and a transparent 3-D printed version complete with replicated interior bones. “Cat mummies have been found in very large quantities sometimes in extremely degraded states and reduced to the state of accumulation of bones,” Nicolas added. He and his colleagues suggest ancient Egyptians may have had numerous legitimate ways to produce animal mummies for purchase as offerings to the gods. To read in depth about the Egyptians' practice of mummifying animals, go to "Messengers to the Gods."

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