Mummified "cat"

Accession Number
Current Location
In storage
Object Types
Fakes and replicas, Fakes | Organic remains, Mammal, Mummified remains of a mammal, Mummified remains of a cat
Late Period to Graeco-Roman Period
Mummified remains (Animal remains) | Textile/fibres (Linen) | Wood
Length: 38mm
Number of Elements

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This object was assumed to be a mummified cat with its wrappings in a crossed design. The head is in pieces. A 3-D scan carried out by Richard Johnston of the engineering department of Swansea University suggests that this object was actually a bundle of sticks. The practice of mummification and internment of animals in large cemeteries began in the first millennium BCE, but was particularly popular in the Ptolemaic Period. It was not uncommon for sticks to be 'dressed-up' as mummified remains in antiquity. Indeed, it seems it was often the outward appearance of the item which was the most important. The cartonnage mask for this cat appears to be W529

J. C. Stevens. Auction and Sale Rooms: 24–25 Jul 1928, Lot 283
Auction Details
A ditto mummified cat, and a mummified hand.
Previous Owner
Sir Henry Solomon Wellcome (1853–1936)
Assumed long-term loan, The Wellcome Trust (15 Feb 1971)
Last modified: 21 Apr 2023

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