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ARCHAEOLOGICAL - Research Paper Example

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The Catacombs of Anubis Introduction Ancient Egyptians were known to worship a dog or jackal headed god by the name Anubis. The god has commonly been associated with embalming and cemeteries. A research led by Paul Nicholson discovered the mummified remains of dogs in the Sahara desert at a location called Saqqara (Past Horizons par 1)…
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Download file to see previous pages Anubis shared with another god, Osiris, the kingdom of the departed. He is known to have guided the dead toward perfection and the life after death according to Buzzle (par 1). As such, Anubis depicted rebirth and life after death even as he “attended” the process of mummification or sat atop a tomb. Anubis was commonly depicted having a jackal or dog head considering that jackals often unearthed whatever had been buried in cemeteries and consumed the remains. To the ancient Egyptians, this symbolized him as god of the underworld. The following sections of this paper will discuss the discovery of mummified dogs in Egypt and the significance of this finding to the understanding of the civilization of ancient Egypt. Finding of Remains of Mummified Dogs in Saqqara, Egypt Although the remains of mummified dogs had been found in the 19th century, the relevance and magnitude of the mummification was yet to be comprehensively understood. Before this recent discovery, Jacques De Morgan in 1897 discovered the existence of dog catacombs in the area surrounding one of the Egyptian pyramids according to Past Horizons (par 2). In spite of this discovery, it remained quite unclear whether the remains of the animals really belonged to dogs or other almost similar animals. Furthermore, the findings then appeared only to be a mystery. Revelations of the Saqqara dog catacomb reveals that about eight million animals were buried in the tunnel, the animals mainly being dogs (Past Horizons par 2). Given this huge number, archaeologists suggest that the Egyptians could have bred dogs probably in their thousands for the purpose of pleasing the dog-headed deity. Archaeologists further note that the mummified bodies were mainly between a few hours and days old; not adult animals as stated by Past Horizons (par 3). The location of the catacomb suggests that the Egyptians had special puppy farms in or around the city of Memphis in which the animals were bred and raised before being mummified. It is here noted that Mephis was the capital of Egypt in ancient days. The findings according to Nicholson suggest a different perception in the relationship between the Egyptians and the animals that they worshipped as deities (Past Horizons par 3). Since the dogs were killed and mummified at a tender age, it is suggested by archaeologists that the animals were not strictly killed in sacrifice. Instead, they were dedicated as mummies in as an act of pious. The animals in this case were supposed to act as intermediaries between their donors and the deities. Given that the catacombs are located near the temple of Anubis, it is quite likely that they are for canines, the concentration of animal cuts at Saqqara also attesting to this according to Past Horizons (par 3). Other animals that were mummified or sacrificed and buried in an almost similar manner include hawks, ibises, baboons and bulls. These animals, in their different kinds were supposed to act as intermediaries between humankind and their deities according to archaeologists. The cults prominently featured in the period between the Late Period and the period of early Roman occupation (747BC to 1AD). In the past, Egyptologists have given more focus to the temples and ancient inscriptions as opposed to the number of animals buried and the places where they were buried (Past Horizons par ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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