Animal Mummies #3: Giving Gifts to the Gods in Ancient Egypt

Congratulations to Dr. Campbell Price and the team involved in the myth busting “Gifts for the Gods; Animal Mummies Revealed” on winning the 2015 MEN CityLife Award for Best Exhibition.

Manchester Evening News

In this post, curator Dr. Campbell Price explores the idea of votive offerings found in the millions but only recently scientifically investigated.

If you have not already, visit this Animal Mummies Exhibition, which is on until April 17th 2016.

Egypt at the Manchester Museum

The Egyptian gods, it seems, were rather demanding. They required constant attention in the form of perpetual temple ritual, a major component of which was the presentation of a range of offerings that were expected to satisfy divine appetites as they might sate human ones. Yet, the gods also appear to have been relatively easily placated, with the gifting of objects being an obvious form of appeasement. Although it is only ever the king who is depicted as giving offerings to the gods on temple walls, the reality of such pious action encompassed all of society.

Cache of bronze statues from Saqqara - courtesy of the EES Cache of bronze statues from Saqqara – courtesy of the EES

Many objects that have survived from Pharaonic Egypt can be interpreted as gifts to the gods. Those associated with animal cults during the first millennium BC survive in abundance, a testament both to the scale and longevity of such votive practice.  These…

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