An excavation team exploring a dog catacomb near Cairo claims that, up until now, they have succeeded in unearthing the remains of as many as 8 million mummified animals.
As far as they can tell, some of the bones they dug out used to belong to dogs, whereas others came from cats and mongooses.
Interestingly enough, only some of these animals were adult specimens. Thus, the majority were killed and buried only a few hours after having been born.
For the time being, the archaeologists are trying to figure out what these mummified animals meant to the ancient Egyptians. Apparently, a dog's spirit was able to carry prayers to the afterlife, but nobody can say for sure how the mongooses fit in, sources report.
“We are trying to understand how this fits religiously with the cult of Anubis, to whom the catacomb is dedicated,” team leader Salima Ikram stated.