Bodies of cats, approximately 2,000 years old, have been discovered | Photo: Marta Osypińska
In the ancient city of Berenice on the Red Sea, scientists discovered a multitude of animal remains, which belonged to more than 80 cats. The discovery was made in the courtyard of a Roman estate.
The animals were buried either as pets or according to religious and spiritual rituals, as evidenced by the artefacts found on them: ostrich eggshells around their necks. Moreover, among the buried remains, the remains of a monkey-savannah catfish were found.
The animals were buried twice – an adult and a young one. At that time, it was common to kill cats in Egypt and mummify them. In this case, however, the animals died a natural death, and the owners provided them with a proper burial. This proves how strong cats were in antiquity.
The cat graveyard is located next to the ancient military port. It remained in use from the end of the 1st century CE until the middle of the 2nd century CE.