Scientists found that lions played a role in the cult of ancient Egyptians. Now comes another sensational finding: Mummified lion cubs could be among grave goods from the dead city Sakkara.
One grave chamber with more than 75 mummified lion cubs and numerous animals found in Egypt rchäologen, including probably the first time lion cubs. The five alleged lion mummies date back to the seventh century BC, according to Antiquities Minister Khaled El-Anany on Saturday at the presentation of the extraordinary find near Cairo. The burial chamber was found in the well-known necropolis Sakkara on the Nile, where hundreds of thousands of animals were sacrificed and deposited in graves.
If the preliminary investigation confirmed, it would be the first time that mummified lion cubs have been found in Egypt, said the Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities of Egypt, Mostafa Waziri. Two of the mummies that have been examined suggest that the animals were about eight months old. In 2004, with the discovery of the complete skeleton of an older male lion, researchers had demonstrated that the late-morning cats played a role in the cult of the ancient Egyptians.
The Egyptologist and Mummy expert from the American University in Cairo, Salima Ikram, told the Guardian: “Humans brought mummified animals as devotional gifts. This was more important than a blood sacrifice”. She was enthusiastic about the new discoveries and valued them for the Ptolemaic era, which ended 30 BC. “I think it’s one of the most exciting finds of mummified lion cubs in the world of animal mummies ever”.
Egypt hopes that the find will attract many tourists. Due to the uncertain situation and the political instability after the revolution of 2011, many holidaymakers have not traveled to the North African country. The new administration of President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi is now working to make security a central political issue again. For this, several government-critical protests have recently been muzzled.
In the well-known necropolis Sakkara south of Cairo, the Egyptian Museum is to be reopened soon. The opening had been delayed for a long time.