8 million dog mummies unearthed in Egypt


The ancient Egyptian jackal-headed god of death Anubis was worshipped by huge numbers of people.

Researchers excavating catacombs near the historic site of Saqqara in Egypt have revealed that the site was once home to more than 8 million dog mummies.

The find reinforces the idea that Anubis, the ancient Egyptian god of death, had a huge following and was a staple part of life for millions of people for hundreds of years.

“We’re very pleased and somewhat surprised by the results,” said director Paul Nicholson. “We hadn’t expected that there would be so many animals, and it opens up a new series of questions.”

These days only a small number of the mummies still remain in the catacombs as most of them had either disintegrated over the years or had been removed by grave robbers.

Other mummified animals found at the site included cats, foxes, falcons and mongooses.

“It would have been a busy place,” said Nicholson. “A permanent community of people living there supported by the animal cults.”

While investigating the catacombs the researchers even found the fossil remains of a long-extinct sea creature dating back millions of years.

“The ancient quarry men may have been aware of it, or they may have gone straight through it, it’s hard to know,” said Nicholson.