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Man's best friend for eternity: dog and human burials in ancient Egypt

Salima IKRAM

en Anthropozoologica 48 (2) - Pages 299-307

Published on 27 December 2013

There is a long history of animal burials, both ritual and pet, in Egypt. Among the many animals buried in Egypt, dogs are amongst the most commonly found. In the cases of ritual (votive) deposits, the dogs (Canis lupus familaris) are buried in groups together, far from any human remains. A handful of pet burials indicate that dogs were buried near their owners. However, recent excavations in the Fayum and Baharia Oases have yielded a hitherto unknown type of deposit, containing both dog and human remains. This paper will explore, in a preliminary study, the phenomenon of joint human and canid burials in Graeco-Roman Egypt and try to understand the precise meaning and nature of these assemblages.

Keywords :

Dog, Egypt, burial, mummies, votive offerings, animal cult, pets, Hecate, Anubis, canine.

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