Dispelling the myth – Herodotus, Cambyses, and Egyptian religion #2

The Egyptiana Emporium

During the Late Period, animal cults became exceedingly popular, ‘one of the distinctive religious features’ of the time, and the practice of making votive offerings of animals developed. The Sacred Animal Necropolis at Saqqara comprises a series of catacombs, commenced during the Late Period, which contain mummified animal offerings such as ibises, baboons, cows and bulls, and a number of bronze votive figurines have also been found, brought by worshippers visiting the site on pilgrimage. The placing of votive objects at shrines and temples is known from the Early Dynastic period and Old Kingdom, with evidence found at state temples and shrines at Hierakonpolis, Abydos and Elephantine. During the Middle Kingdom, this practice appears to have diminished, possibly due to the king, or priests acting on behalf of the king, taking over the role of offering to the state deities, but the custom of votive offerings returned in the Second…

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