The Ancient Egyptians are well known for mummifying and preserving the dead. But did you know that they also mummified lots of different types of animals too?

Cats were a huge part of the Ancient Egyptian cosmos and thousands of cat mummies have been found in hundreds of locations throughout Egypt. But it wasn’t just cats that received this treatment.

Birds, crocodiles, ducks, fish, monkeys, dogs, rams, bulls, baboons, gazelles and even lizards were all mummified. Some of these animals were preserved because they were beloved pets, others were embalmed because they represented a certain god.

Designated animal graveyards have been found in temples where hundreds of animals were buried.

No other culture in history has held animals in such high regard as Egypt. They were painted onto walls, connected to deities and were sent along to the afterlife so that they could join their masters.