Using the back cover image: Mummified cat

Primary History feature

By Jules Wooding, published 27th October 2016

Mummified cat embalmed in linen cloth

For hundreds of years, travellers to Egypt have marvelled at the amazing monuments evident throughout the country. The treasures of Ancient Egypt became more fascinating after  the discovery of the Rosetta stone in 1799, which led to the deciphering of the hieroglyphic language. Many Victorian explorers returned to their European homes after archaeological expeditions with interesting objects and exciting finds, lending these  artefacts for display in museums. From the British Museum to smaller local museums, Egyptian objects enabled  ordinary people to catch a glimpse of, and increase their knowledge and fascination with, the ancient world.

On display at the Beaney House of Art & Knowledge in Canterbury is a mummified cat which provides the visitor with a connection to a unique way of life from thousands of years ago. In  Ancient Egypt, cats were  highly regarded for controlling ever-present rats, mice and snakes. Wild cats gradually became domesticated and the cat became a symbol of refinement. So  revered was the cat, that at the height of its popularity it was illegal to kill a cat, even accidentally...

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