Gatto nell'antico Egitto


Gatto nell'antico Egitto

Uno dei culti più popolari sorto nel Tardo Periodo dell’antico Egitto era quello della dea-gatto Bastet. Il centro principale per il culto della dea era la città di Bubastis.

In questo periodo migliaia di gatti sono stati mummificati per essere venduti ai pellegrini, che li presentavano alla dea come un’offerta.

I corpi dei gatti, disidratati usando il Natron, processo simile a quello usato per la mummificazione umana, venivano quindi avvolti in una bendatura con le zampe parallele al corpo.

Gatti mummificati

L’esempio qui riportato è preso dalla raccolta del Museo britannico ed illustra bene lo standard molto elaborato per la preparazione usata su queste offerte sacre.

Enormi cimiteri sono stati scoperti contenenti migliaia di queste sepolture gli animali.


Passo felpato e carattere solitario, il gatto domestico avrebbe forgiato i suoi connotati nell’Antico Egitto. Dietro c’è una storia che è scritta nel Dna e che per la prima volta è stata scientificamente dimostrata da un gruppo di ricercatori dell’Università della California, diretti da Jennifer Kurushima.

Il team californiano ha analizzato il Dna di tre mummie di felini datati tra il 600 e il 300 avanti Cristo. I ricercatori hanno scoperto che alcune sequenze genetiche caratteristiche dei Dna analizzati sono vicine a quelle degli attuali gatti domestici.

Si distinguono invece da quelle appartenenti a specie selvatiche che popolavano il Medio Oriente e l’Africa.

In realtà lo studio californiano dimostra solo che la civiltà egizia ha avuto un ruolo fondamentale nel processo di addomesticamento del gatto, ma non si conosce l’esatta data di origine del processo.

I gatti mummificati di Petrie

Animali e Dei


Simbologia: il gatto

Il gatto nel Medioevo

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