Archeologists expoloring the Catacombs of Anubis say that most of the 8 million mummified dogs found inside the catacombs were puppies that were almost certainly purpose-bred for slaughter and mummification.
Underneath Egypt’s earliest pyramid, archaeologists have found remnants of an estimated 8 million mummified animals.
According to a new research study, a 5,000 square foot network of underground tunnels are stuffed full of linen-wrapped dogs, along with a few foxes and cats laid to rest thousands of years ago by the cult following of a canine-like deity who Egyptians believed would usher them into the afterlife.
About an hour from Cairo, the Saqqara temple complex is the final resting place of royals, commoners and an enormous quantity of sacred beasts....
...The Catacombs of Anubis are located near the Step Pyramid on the Saqqara plateau, one of the most famous destinations for pyramid visitors.
The necropolis is filled with human burial sites, but underneath is where researchers found the real treasure laid.
“The temples and shrines, though undeniably significant, are often only the tip of the iceberg,” the study’s authors wrote.
Beneath the oldest pyramid was a labyrinth of stone tunnels and at least 49 galleries filled with an astounding number of mummified animals.
The sheer scale of mummies found has led researchers to believe that there was a large-scale animal breeding system in place, possibly akin to a puppy farm.
Anubis, a deity with a canine head, was the god of embalming. It was he who ushered the dead from the living world to the underworld.
In ancient Egypt, animals resembling gods were considered to be their modern-day incarnations and so 90 percent of the animals offered as sacrifice to Anubis were canines: dogs, jackals, or foxes.
The wall slots of the tunnels were filled with fully-grown dogs who were given by donors of higher status, but in the general stacks of remains, researchers found most of the bones belonged to puppies who’d been killed almost immediately after birth.
The quantity of newborns was so high that the authors posit there were ancient puppy mills “probably in Memphis and its environs, from which most of the animals were sourced.”