Mummified bird - 910.169.15_2


Mummified bird

Medium:Fibre and linen
Geography: Undetermined site, Egypt
Date: c. 664-332 BC
Period: 26th-30th Dynasty, Late Period
21.5 x 8.8 cm
Object number: 910.169.15
Not on view
DescriptionThe Ancient Egyptians mummified millions of animals and birds, but, perhaps because the reason behind this practice was so obvious to them, they never wrote down why they did it. Though some pets were mummified, most animal mummies were animals raised in temple precincts for eventual sacrifice and mummification. Specially chosen animals were the avatars of gods, such as the sacred hawk at Edfu or the Apis bull at Memphis. Most animals, however, may have been seen rather as heralds who entered the Afterlife grateful to the sponsor who paid for their care and feeding and embalming. They were very often given as Votive Offerings. Ibises were sacred to the god Thoth, god of writing and wisdom, including magic, whom the Greeks identified with their own Hermes. Great flocks of ibises were raised at temples, and the pious could help to feed them by making offerings.
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