According to a new research, millions of dog mummies were discovered inside an Egyptian catacomb.
A team of researchers from Cardiff University has been studying almost 8 million mummified dogs discovered near the sacred temple of Anubis in Saqqara, Egypt inside a catacomb.
They believe all the dog mummies were offerings for Anubis, the Egyptian god of death who had a jackal head.
Paul Nicholson, archaeology professor at the university and the lead researcher, was the first to study the canine mummies.
Inside the catacombs, the scientists also discovered the fossil of a sea creature believed to have lived more than 48 million years ago.
Nicholson and his team believe the temple and the catacombs were built by ancient Egyptians as a tribute to the god Anubis.
The archaeologists also discovered buried in the catacombs other animals such as bulls, baboons, hawks and ibises.
The researchers believe that the Egyptians separated the young puppies from their mothers and died of starvation or dehydration.
Nicholson said they found no evidence that the dogs had been killed prior to being mummified.
The experts think that Egyptian mummified other animals apart from dogs because they believed the animals were interchangeable.
There were also mythological reasons involved, the researchers believe.
The archaeologists detailed their findings in the journal Antiquity.
Nicholson wrote in his study that Saqqara is a desert are with numerous pyramids sticking out of the sand and a few monuments associated with ancient animal cults.
He added that in ancient Egypt Saqqara was full of temples, merchants that sold products like bronze statues, priests conducting ceremonies, dream interpreters and tour guides.
Ancient Egyptian would raise dogs and other animals to have them mummified for their gods.
Many of the dog mummies buried in the catacombs were in a bad condition, while others had been stolen by grave robbers to use them as fertilizer.
Talking about the catacombs, Nicholson said that there is no source of light and they had to use flashlights in order to see because the place was in complete darkness.
He believes that the catacombs were built in the 4th century B.C.
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