The over-achieving Ancient Egyptians created distillation methods of extracting oils from the trees, herbs, and plants in their lands. They used these essential oils for medical, spiritual, and throughout their daily activities and of course, for embalming.
Cats are well known for being revered as almost gods by Ancient Egyptians. But did you know they also embalmed dogs in honor of Anubis, the God of Death and the Underworld? One tomb site alone yielded the mummified remains of 8,000,000, yes, that is 8 MILLION embalmed dogs.
In catacombs south of Cairo, researchers have discovered burial sites filled with huge numbers of mummified animals — nearly 8 million of them, mostly dogs. Which leads us to wonder where they even GOT 8,000,000 dogs. Sadly, the obvious answer seems to be the dogs were specifically bred for this purpose. This seems cruel beyond words to most of us in today's dog adoring culture, but their belief system had a different view.
The dogs were believed to have ascended immediately to the highest level, where they joined all of the other dog souls and their leader, Anubis, where their afterlife was thought to be sublime.
The catacombs, at a site called Saqqara, are dedicated to Anubis, the jackal-headed god of the afterlife. Archaeologist and Egyptologist Salima Ikram, a professor at the American University in Cairo who has worked extensively at the site, writes that animal mummification began in ancient Egypt "to allow beloved pets to go on to the afterlife, to provide food in the afterlife, to act as offerings to a particular god and because some were seen as physical manifestations of specific gods that the Egyptians worshipped." From NPR Learn More Here
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