SOME OLD CATS!
The cat statues we saw dated back from 944 to 528 BC (during Egypt's 22nd to 26th Dynasties)
DID YOU KNOW? Egyptians Worshipped Cats!
The ancient Egyptians held cats in the highest esteem, the penalties for injuring or killing a cat were severe. They worshipped a Cat Goddess, often represented as half feline, half woman, whom they called Bastet. The main center for the worship of Bastet was in northern Egypt at the city of Bubastis.
Why did people worship cats?
Thousands of years later, the peoples in what would later be Upper and Lower Egypt had a religion centering on the worship of animals, including cats. Praised for controlling vermin and its ability to kill snakes such as cobras, the domesticated cat became a symbol of grace and poise.
WHO ARE THE 2 CAT GODDESSES?
1) THE GODDESS MAFDET
One of the earliest deities of ancient Egypt was the goddess Mafdet, who was highly revered by people seeking protection against venomous animals like snakes and scorpions. She was shown with a variety of fierce, feline forms, most often as a woman with the head of a lion, cheetah, or house-cat (though sometimes she was shown as a cat with a woman's head). Because cats could protect against the tiny monsters that made Egyptian homes unsafe, Mafdet was regarded as the protector of the home-- and of the kingdom itself!
2) THE GODDESS BASTET
Later in Egyptian history, the goddess Bastet (sometimes just "Bast") replaced Mafdet as the feline goddess of choice. Like Mafdet, she was regarded as a fierce protector of the home (and especially of children and royalty), largely because of cats' renowned ability to kill snakes, scorpions, and other vermin. Her followers called her the "Eye of Ra," the sun god, and believed that she fiercely watched the world and guarded Egypt against invasion. (Source: www.petcentric.com)
|Image of Bastet|