2,000-year-old pet cemetery uncovered in Egypt
A nearly 2,000-year-old pet cemetery holding the remains of dogs, monkeys and scores of cats has been uncovered in an ancient Egyptian town, archaeologists say.
A few animals still wore iron collars when they were laid to rest, and the graves of two young cats include ostrich-shell beads. Some of the beasts’ bodies were nestled under mats or pottery jars, signaling they were deliberately buried rather than just discarded as trash, researchers argue.
The careful treatment of the animals’ bodies suggests an “emotional (relationship) between men and pets as we know it today,” says Marta Osypińska of the Polish Academy of Sciences, the author of a new study in the journal Antiquity.
It’s not uncommon to find pets buried in ancient Egypt, but most were interred with or near their owners. The only humans buried near these pets were two people buried three centuries after the animals, Osypińska says. Read more.