The above picture is of Dr. Chau Chak Wing who is a very wealthy Chinese-Australian entrepreneur and Vice Chancellor Dr. Michael Spence shaking hands, Dr. Chau Chak Wing has personally donated $15 million towards building a new museum at Sydney’s university. The new museum due to be open to the public in 2018 will cost $42 million to build and with such a very generous donation from Dr. Wing, the museum decided to call the museum, The Chau Chak Wing Museum, the rest of the money need to open the museum will be raised by the university.
Some of the items to be displayed in the museum have never be shown before, in fact, they have been locked away for many many years. One artifact in particular that caught my eye was this mummified cat, is over 2,500 years old. It was discovered in Egypt during a dig led by Sir Charles Nicholson.
There were four reasons why cats were mummified in Ancient Egypt. To allow beloved pets to go on to the afterlife, to provide food in the afterlife, to act as offerings to a particular god and the last and probably the biggest reason was to ask for protection from a god. Thousands of years ago in Egypt they worshiped a goddess called Bastet. Bastet was originally depicted as a fiercely protective and warlike lioness. She was the goddess of protection against contagious diseases and evil spirits.
In 450 BC people consider the status of a cat was roughly equivalent to that of the cow in modern India. Nearly every house had a cat as they were great mousers (which saved their food) and they also kept Cobra snakes away from their homes. The death of a cat would leave a family in great mourning, they would shave one eyebrow and bring the cat to the embalmers where they would be treated with different spices, drugs, then wrapped up in linen and brought to a cat cemetery to be buried.
Thousand of mummified cats have been found across Egypt and the sad part about it that researchers have said cats were bred just for the purpose of being sacrificed. Some people made a living by pre-preparing mummified cats and selling them at temple gates. Cats who were bred to become offerings of this type usually died due to strangulation or the breaking of their necks.
(pic source: google)