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The invention of mummification enabled the ancient Egyptians to preserve the bodies, not only of humans but also of animals, so that they could live forever. Mummified animals are of four different types: food offerings, pets, sacred animals, and votive offerings. For the first time, a series of studies on the different types of animal mummies, the methods of mummification, and the animal cemeteries located at sites throughout Egypt are drawn together in a definitive volume on ancient Egyptian animal mummies. Studies of these animals provide information not only about the fauna of the country, and indirectly, its climate, but also about animal domestication, veterinary practices, human nutrition, mummification technology, and the religious practices of the ancient Egyptians.
Salima Ikram is professor of Egyptology at the American University in Cairo, and has worked in Egypt since 1986. She has directed the Animal Mummy Project, co-directed the Predynastic Gallery project, and has served as co-director and subsequently director of the North Kharga Oasis Survey. Ikram has worked on several excavations throughout Egypt as well as in Turkey, Sudan, and Greece, and she is currently very involved with the preservation and presentation of cultural heritage. She is the co-editor of Egyptian Bioarchaeology: Studies in Ancient Human, Animal, and Plant Remains (AUC Press, 2015).