In the ancient burial grounds of Saqqara, outside the Egyptian capital, Memphis, over five million individual ibis mummies have been excavated from one cemetery alone. Yet the mummification of animals and its role in ancient Egyptian culture has remained shrouded in mystery. What was the religious purpose of these animal mummies? How were they made? And why are there so many?
Soulful Creatures sheds new light on these questions by taking a closer look at the Brooklyn Museum's renowned Egyptian collection, which includes snake, dog, and hawk mummies; crocodile and falcon coffins; and baboon votive offerings. By drawing on archaeology, cultural history, and modern medical imaging, including x-rays of the mummies, Soulful Creatures represents a cross-disciplinary investigation into the many contentious theories of animal mummy practice. It offers a new understanding of the ancient world through some of its most extraordinary surviving artefacts.
- Foreword by Arnold L. Lehman
- Preface and Acknowledgements by Edward Bleiberg
- A Brief Chronology of Ancient Egypt
- How the Ancient Egyptians Viewed the Animal World by Yekaterina Barbash
- Animal Mummies: The Souls of the Gods by Edward Bleiberg
- The Scientific Examination of Animal Mummies by Lisa Bruno
Appendix: Possible Precursors to the Animal Cults by Yekaterina Barbash
Brooklyn Museum Board of Trustees, 2012-13
Edward Bleiberg is Curator of Egyptian, Classical, and Ancient Middle Eastern Art at the Brooklyn Museum. Yekaterina Barbash is Assistant Curator of Egyptian Art at the Brooklyn Museum.