During routine excavations in 2011 at the dog catacomb in Saqqara necropolis, an excavation team uncovered almost eight million animal mummies at the burial site next to the sacred temple of Anubis. It is thought that the mummified animals, mostly dogs, were intended to pass on the prayers of their owners to their deities.
"You don't get 8 million mummies without having puppy farms," says team leader Salima Ikram. "And some of these dogs were killed deliberately so that they could be offered. So for us, that seems really heartless. But for the Egyptians, they felt that the dogs were going straight up to join the eternal pack with Anubis. And so they were going off to a better thing".
In November, 2018, seven ancient Egyptian tombs were located at the ancient necropolis of Saqqara by an Egyptian archaeological mission, with a collection of scarab and cat mummies, dating back to the Fifth and Sixth Dynasties. According to the former minister Khaled el-Enany, three of the tombs were used for cats - some dating back more than 6,000 years - while one of four other sarcophagi revealed at the site was unsealed. Along with the remains of cat mummies,100 wooden statues of cats and one in bronze dedicated to the cat goddess named Bastet were also unearthed. In addition, funerary items dating back to the 12th Dynasty were found besides the skeletal remains of cats.