Mummified lions, crocs and birds found in ancient Egyptian burial ground (PHOTOS)
Archaeologists exploring a vast ancient Egyptian necropolis have unearthed a cache of mummified animals, including lions, crocodiles, birds and cats.
Egypt's Ministry of Antiquities revealed details of the recently discovered specimens on Saturday, in an exhibition at the famous Step Pyramid in Saqqara, close to where the mummies were found.
It’s not uncommon for mummified cats to turn up during archaeological digs but finding lions is extremely rare. A range of preliminary tests including x-rays indicates with 95 percent certainty that the mummies are small lion cubs aged eight months.
Antiquities Minister Khaled al-Anany said further testing will be carried out in the coming weeks to confirm the findings, Al-Masry Al-Youm reports.
The discovery included 25 wooden boxes adorned with hieroglyphic inscriptions containing the mummified remains of cats, crocodiles and sacred birds, as well as wooden statuettes of various animals.
A large stone beetle and various smaller beetles were also discovered, as well as a distinctive timber ibis bird and statues of ancient Egyptian gods. The ministry said that all the animal mummies are all from the Late Period (664-332 BC).
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