Burying Man’s Best Friend: Canine Catacombs in Ancient Egypt

Burying Man’s Best Friend: Canine Catacombs in Ancient Egypt                  


By Dr. Salima Ikram, Egyptologist, American University in Cairo

Ancient Egypt has a long history of animal mummification and burial, both ritual and pet.  Among the many animals buried in Egypt, dogs are amongst the most commonly found. In the cases of ritual (votive) deposits, the dogs are buried in groups together–separate from human remains–while a handful of pet burials indicate that dogs were buried near their owners.

Dr Salima Ikram, one of the world’s leading experts on mummification, will describe this little-known area of Egyptology, focusing on the different types of burials of man’s best friend.

Among those is the discovery of millions of dog and other animal mummies dedicated to the god Anubis at the Catacombs of Anubis, at Saqqara. Often depicted as a jackal, Anubis was the god of embalming and led the deceased from this world to the next.  He was a significant figure in the Egyptian pantheon.  Other recent finds in the Fayum and Bahariya Oases are a hitherto unknown type of deposit, containing both dog and human remains. This joint burial challenges our understanding of the meaning and nature of these assemblages.


Wednesday, April 2, 2014

at 7:30 pm


Room 338

Smith Memorial Student Union                 

Portland State University


Free admission and open to the public. 

Park Free in PSU parking structures after 7:00 pm  


Dr Ikram directed the Animal Mummy Project at the Egyptian Museum, co-directed the Predynastic Gallery project, and is Director of the North Kharga Oasis Survey. Her research interests include death, daily life, archaeozoology, ethnoarchaeology, rock art, experimental archaeology, and the preservation and presentation of cultural heritage. She has excavated in Egypt, the Sudan, Greece and Turkey, lectured throughout the world and appears frequently on TV.  She received a double major in History and in Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology at Bryn Mawr College; she holds a M. Phil. and a Ph. D in Egyptian Archaeology from Cambridge. She has written several books (for adults and children) and articles, on subjects ranging from mummification to the eating habits of the ancient Egyptians.



This lecture is jointly sponsored by the Oregon Chapter of the American Research Center in Egypt (ARCE), the national offices of ARCE, and the Middle East Studies Center of Portland State University.

ARCE is a private, nonprofit organization that supports research on all aspects of Egyptian history and culture, fosters broader knowledge among the general public, and strengthens American-Egyptian cultural ties.   ARCE- OR – P.O. Box 15192 – Portland, OR 97214


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